Organisational Structure

The CRU is organised in six Divisions reflecting the CRU’s varied economic, customer protection and safety responsibilities in energy as well as its role as economic regulator of Irish Water.

Security of Supply and Wholesale
The Security of Supply and Wholesale Division is leading a programme of actions to ensure a secure energy transition to 2030 and beyond. This includes regulation of wholesale electricity capacity, system services and energy markets with the objective of ensuring there is a sustainable and secure electricity system, providing appropriate signals for investment in new renewable generation, and the low carbon and flexible gas generation capacity that will enable this.

The Division also oversees the wholesale all-island Single Electricity Market (SEM) in co-operation with the Utility Regulator in Belfast.

Networks and Economic Regulation
The Networks and Economic Regulation Division leads our work with Irish Water and energy companies enhancing the CRU’s economic regulation of these critical networks ensuring that they support customers, underpin economic growth and play a transformational role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

This Division is responsible for regulating the activities of the electricity and gas distribution and transmission operators and asset owners, setting allowed revenues and annual tariffs within the appropriate incentive frameworks to ensure that all investment in networks is efficient and delivers the best outcome for customers.

The economic regulation of services provided by Irish Water seeks to ensure that Irish Water is run as efficiently as possible while providing appropriate water and waste water services to its customers. The CRU approves Irish Water’s Water Charges Plan which reflects the allowed revenue, connection charging policy and the domestic and non-domestic tariff regime.

Customer Policy and Protection (incl. Legal)
Functions to empower and protect customers are part of the Customer Policy and Protection Division. The Division is responsible for overseeing all aspects of competition, licensing and consumer protection in the energy retail markets in Ireland. Responsibility for the overall coordination of the National Smart Metering Programme as well as provision of a dispute resolution service for energy and water customers also sit with this Division.

This Division is also leading on empowering customers to participate in and benefit from the energy transition, including developing new regulatory frameworks to facilitate active customers, energy communities and aggregators.

The Division also has a general role in advising the organisation on all legal matters.

Energy Safety
The Energy Safety Division holds a key oversight role in protecting public safety and the prevention of major accidents in Ireland’s energy sector. The Division is responsible for safety regulation of gas (networks, supply, storage, use and liquefied petroleum gas distribution), petroleum (upstream onshore and offshore exploration and extraction), gas installers and electrical contractors.

Functions are discharged through:
• review and input into energy safety policy and legislative amendments;
• analysis of energy safety trends;
• conducting inspections, audits, incident and potential illegal gas/electrical works investigations; and
• taking enforcement action where warranted.

Operations and Organisational Development
The Operations and Organisational Development Division is responsible for supporting and empowering CRU teams to achieve outcomes set out the in the Strategic Plan.

The Division includes:
• Human Resources
• Information Technology/Facilities
• Finance and Governance
• Communications and Public Affairs
• Business support

These functions focus on implementing evolving public sector and other best practice guidance and strategy for the organisation. Also overseeing preparation and implementation of the CRU’s Strategic Plan, the Division has a particular focus on organisational design and development, maintaining the highest governance standards and managing relationships with stakeholders.

Decarbonisation
The Decarbonisation Division develops and operates regulatory frameworks required to enable the decarbonisation of Ireland’s energy sector in line with Government policy.

The Division is responsible for developing regulatory frameworks for the offshore renewables, district heating and other new and emerging sectors such as hydrogen. The Division is also responsible for electricity connection policy, interconnector regulation, projects of common interest, and coordination of CRU’s actions under Ireland’s Climate Action Plan.

Senior Management Team

Commissioner Aoife MacEvilly - Chairperson

Aoife has been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since October 2014 and was appointed Chairperson in February 2020. Her lead responsibilities include empowering and protecting customers, supporting active customers and communities and the future role of gas in a secure, decarbonised energy system. Aoife previously worked in the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and in the private sector. She holds a BA in European Business and German from Ulster University, a Professional Diploma in Regulatory Governance from UCD and an MSc in Leadership and Management from UCD Smurfit.

Commissioner Paul McGowan

Paul has been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since 2013 and was appointed Chair from February 2017 to February 2020. His lead responsibilities within CRU include water regulation and energy safety. Since 2000, Paul has held various roles in CRU across energy safety, all-island energy markets and gas regulation. Paul also previously worked in the offshore oil and gas, education and construction sectors. Paul is a Chartered Surveyor by profession with a PhD in the field of Construction/Engineering Management.

Commissioner Jim Gannon

Jim has been a member of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) since October 2019. His lead responsibilities include the Single Electricity Market; the generation portfolio; electricity networks regulation, connections and interconnection; system services and flexibility; and electricity security of supply. Jim previously served as the CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, and before that role worked for 15 years in the private sector within the engineering and energy industry. Jim is a graduate of NUI Galway, the University of Wales Aberystwyth and he holds an MBA from the UCD Smurfit School of Business.

Phil Hemmingway - Director of Decarbonisation

is Director of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) Decarbonisation Division having joined the organisation in 2020. Phil oversees the CRU offshore economic, electricity connections policy, district heating and new & emerging regulatory frameworks teams. Phil previously held the following roles: Head of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Research & Technology Department; Assistant Professor at UCD; energy consultant at RPS Group and Manager at Science Foundation Ireland. He holds Bachelors (engineering) & Doctoral (energy) degrees from UCD.

Karen Kavanagh - Director of Networks and Economic Regulation

Karen was appointed as the Director of Networks and Economic Regulation in Feb 2022, having previously been Director of Economic Regulation (Water) and Compliance. Karen has over 20 years’ experience in economic regulation across the utilities and telecommunications sectors. She has a BSc. in Applied Science and a PhD. in Physics from the Technological University Dublin. She also holds an MSc.in Economic Policy Studies from Trinity College Dublin and an Advanced Diploma in Quasi-Judicial Decision-Making from Kings Inns. Karen leads the division responsible for implementing and enhancing the CRU’s economic regulation of water, gas and electricity networks ensuring that they support customers, underpin economic growth, and play a transformational role in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Loretta Lambkin - Director of Operations and Organisational Development

Loretta joined the CRU in 2019 as the Director of Operations and Organisational Development.  Prior to joining CRU, Loretta was the Chief Officer of An Bord Pleanála (6 years). She has also held the posts of acting Chief Executive and Director of Marketing for the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Marketing Manager at Diageo plc. Loretta is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (B.A. Geography and Sociology) and UCD (M.A. Geography) and holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, USA.

John Melvin - Director of Security of Supply and Wholesale

John was appointed as the Director of Energy Networks and Legal in 2016 and is currently Director of Security of Supply and Wholesale. John is responsible for overseeing gas and electricity Security of Supply and the wholesale all-island electricity market (SEM) in cooperation with the Utility Regulator in Belfast. He is a graduate of University College Dublin where he completed a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering, and also holds a M.Sc. in Finance from the Smurfit School of Business.

Karen Trant - Director of Customer Policy & Protection

Karen joined the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in 2006. Karen was appointed Director of Energy Networks and Legal in 2018 and more recently has been appointed as Director of Customer Policy & Protection a new division within the CRU. Karen has responsibility for Retail Markets, Active Customers & Clean Energy Package including Smart Metering. Karen also has responsibility for Customer Care, Compliance and Enforcement and remains Director of Legal which provides advice to the organisation on all legal matters. Karen is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast where she completed and LLB in Law and is a qualified solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland. Karen also holds an Advanced Diploma in Corporate, White Collar and Regulatory Crime (Kings Inns) and a Diploma in Regulatory Law and Practice (Law Society of Ireland).

Loretta Joyce- Acting Director of Energy Safety

Loretta joined the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) in 2016. Loretta was appointed Acting Director of Energy Safety in 2022. The CRU’s Energy Safety Division holds a key oversight role in protecting public safety and the prevention of major accidents in Ireland’s energy sector. Loretta is responsible for overseeing energy safety regulation in the gas sector (networks, supply, storage, use and liquefied petroleum gas distribution), petroleum sector (upstream onshore and offshore exploration and extraction), and of gas and electrical safety supervisory bodies. Loretta previously held roles in the CRU as Compliance and Enforcement Senior Manager, Gas Safety Framework Manager and Safety Supervisory Body Manager. She has also worked as an Inspector in the Environmental Protection Agency and Waste Enforcement Manager on behalf of local authorities as well as in the private medical diagnostics sector. Loretta holds a B.Sc in Biotechnology and Masters in Environmental Protection as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management, NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and Public Leadership Executive Certificate.