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 protect the public interest in Water, Energy and Energy Safety. 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’s vision is

  • Energy is supplied safely
  • Empowered and protected customers pay reasonable prices
  • A sustainable, reliable and efficient future for energy and water
  • A secure, low carbon future

Our Divisional 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.