CRU's Role

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) is Ireland's independent energy and water regulator. The CRU was originally established as the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) in 1999. The CER changed its name to the CRU in 2017 to better reflect the expanded powers and functions of the organisation.

The CRU has a wide range of economic, customer protection and safety responsibilities in energy and water.

The CRU’s mission is to regulate water, energy and energy safety in the public interest. The work of the CRU impacts every Irish home and business, by ensuring safe, secure and sustainable energy and water supplies at a reasonable cost. The sectors we regulate underpin Irish economic competitiveness, investment and growth, while also contributing to our international obligations to address climate change.

The CRU is guided by six key strategic goals which are that the short and long run interests of the public are protected by ensuring:

  • energy and gas are supplied safely
  • the lights stay on
  • the gas continues to flow
  • a reliable supply of clean water and efficient treatment of wastewater
  • consumer prices for energy and water are fair and reasonable
  • regulation is best international practice

An overview of the CRU’s key functions, delivered under guiding legislation, are:

  • Economic Regulation of Energy: Our aim is to protect the interests of energy customers, maintain security of supply, and to promote competition covering the generation and supply of electricity and supply of natural gas. As part of this role, the CRU jointly regulates the all-island wholesale Single Electricity Market (SEM) with its counterpart in Northern Ireland, the Utility Regulator. The SEM is governed by a decision-making body known as the SEM Committee, consisting of the CRU, the Utility Regulator and an independent member.
  • Economic Regulation of Water: The CRU is the economic regulator for the public water and wastewater sector in, covering the services provided by Irish Water. Our primary aim is to protect the interests of customers by monitoring the performance of Irish Water in delivering services and providing investment in water and wastewater infrastructure in a cost efficient manner.
  • Customer Complaints (Energy & Water): The CRU’s Customer Care team has an important role in customer protection by resolving complaints that customers have with energy companies and Irish Water.
  • Energy Safety Regulation: In energy safety, the core focus of the CRU is to protect lives across a range of areas in the energy sector. This includes safety regulation of electrical contractors and gas installers (covering both natural gas and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)).  In addition, the CRU is the safety regulator of the downstream natural gas industry (covering storage, transportation and supply) and LPG piped distribution systems. It is also safety regulator of upstream petroleum safety extraction and exploration activities; this includes oil and gas activity both onshore and offshore.

Customer Charter

The CRU is committed to carrying out all its functions in a fair, impartial, balanced and transparent manner. The CRU’s aim is to provide a professional and efficient service to all stakeholders and act with integrity at all times.

To support this, the CRU operates under a Customer Charter which sets out the standards of service that stakeholders can expect when engaging with the organisation. This Charter sets out what assistance energy and water customers are entitled to receive from the CRU in the various areas of its work.

The CRU is committed to providing a high quality, user-friendly and easily accessible service to our customers in each of our areas of responsibility.

In particular, this CRU Customer Charter sets out the standards of service that you are entitled to receive from the CRU in the following areas of our work:

  • Personal callers
  • Written correspondence
  • CRU website
  • Telephone callers
  • Complaints regarding the CRU
  • HR and personal information
  • FOI requests

CRU Standards of Service

Personal Callers

Visitors to the CRU’s offices will be made to feel welcome and will be treated with courtesy and respect. We aim to deal with their business efficiently and promptly. All visitors have the right to privacy regarding their business if required. In the event that an enquiry is not relevant to the CRU, every effort will be made to direct the caller to a relevant body that can assist them.

Written Correspondence

The CRU’s postal address and standard email address format is included at the end of this Customer Charter. The CRU commits to the following:

  • We will acknowledge all written correspondence (including e-mails, faxes and postal correspondence) within 3 working days of our receipt;
  • We will comprehensively reply to correspondence within 10 working days if at all possible. If there is going to be a delay beyond this 10 working days, we will send an interim reply explaining the position and providing an estimate of the response timeline. If satisfactory to the customer, we may contact you by telephone.*Please note that a separate process/timeline applies to a situation where a connection offer-related dispute with the network operator has been referred to the CRU, as there is a particular process to follow in this area which is set down in legislation;
  • If a CRU staff member plans to be unavailable for more than 1 working day (for example due to annual leave), he/she will set-up an automatic “out of office” email reply facility. This facility will provide information on when the staff member expects to be in a position to respond to the e-mail, and will include information on who to contact in the intervening period if the query is urgent;
  • We will ensure that all correspondence from the CRU (including e-mails and faxes) carries a contact name/team, telephone number, fax number and email address;
  • We will use courteous, clear and simple language in our correspondence and only use technical terms when necessary; and,
  • We will ensure that any correspondence received in Irish is answered in Irish (unless the response is an automatic e-mail “out of office” as above).

The CRU operates a general query email service for industry and public stakeholders who have generic information enquiries regarding the functions of the CRU, at info@cru.ie. Customer-related queries should be directed separately to the Customer Care Team at customercare@cru.ie

CRU Website

The CRU publishes a large number of industry-related information notes, newsletters, reports, policy consultations and decision papers at www.cru.ie.

The CRU will:

  • Endeavour to keep our website up-to-date, and easy-to-navigate;
  • Produce comprehensive explanatory material/guidelines as appropriate to accompany key decisions or reports

CRU Mailing Lists

The CRU maintains a number of mailing lists for its www.cru.ie website publications, through which subscribers can receive email alerts of our website publications.

The CRU will:

  • Keep our mailing lists up-to-date, ensuring that customers are added or removed from our mailing lists as they request; and,
  • Ensure that all correspondence sent to our mailing lists is clear, concise and appropriate to that particular mailing list.

We welcome feedback from our customers to our website, papers published and on the quality of the policy consultation service provided. Should you have any comments these can be forwarded to the relevant person listed in the consultation paper or to info@cru.ie

Telephone Callers

The CRU’s reception telephone number is +353 01 4000800. Our telephone line will be open between the hours of 9am and 1pm, and 2pm and 5:30pm, each working day from Monday to Friday.

In addition, our dedicated CRU Customer Care Team can also be contacted at 1890 404404 for customer queries or issues that customers may have with their supplier or network

The CRU will:

  • answer all telephone calls personally, rather than using any electronic routing devices;
  • be courteous and identify ourselves over the phone;
  • be as helpful and informative as we can with telephone callers;
  • provide our email address where this is likely to be useful to the caller;
  • answer all telephone calls promptly when available. We will only divert calls to voicemail when the relevant staff member is engaged on another call or is absent and there is no other suitable person available to deal with the call;
  • will have a voicemail facility set-up which will allow a caller to leave a message if a staff member plans to be unavailable to answer a call If available, the staff member will respond to a voicemail message (by phone or in writing) within 1 working day. If a CRU staff member plans to be unavailable for more than 1 working day (for example due to annual leave), he/she will provide details of this on his/her voicemail facility. The voicemail will include information on when the staff member expects to be in a position to answer the voicemail, as well as who to contact in the intervening period if the query is urgent.

Complaints Regarding the CRU

If you are unhappy with the quality of customer service that you have received from the CRU, you have the right to complain.

Any complaints in relation to the CRU’s quality of service should be sent to info@cru.ie. Complaints to the CRU will be responded to promptly in accordance with the correspondence timelines referred to above.

All complaints will be dealt with fairly and impartially.

Freedom of Information (FOI)

The CRU complies with the Freedom of Information Act 2014, as amended. In any event we endeavour to provide as much information as feasible on our activities and decisions on our website.

Should you wish to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, you should contact the CRU’s Freedom of Information Officer stating clearly that you are requesting information under the Act. You may also see details regarding the FOI/AIE process here.

Evaluation of Service Commitments

The CRU aims to continually improve our Customer Service. We welcome comments from our customers with regard to the quality of our service. If we identify areas of our service which need to be improved, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that improvement takes place. Any comments can be sent to info@cru.ie.