The CER is the regulator for the electricity and natural gas sectors in Ireland. To connect to the electricity network, a generator connecting must hold an Authorisation to Construct or Reconstruct a Generating Station and a Generator Licence.
The CER was assigned responsibility over the regulation of the Irish electricity sector following the enactment of the Electricity Regulation Act, 1999, and its roles and responsbilities have expanded since with new legislation. The CER's roles have involved the liberalisation of the electricity generation and retail (supply) market in order to encourage the entry of competition and new investment. Market rules were established for both a wholesale electricity market and a retail electricity market, while licensing processes and procedures were introduced for all market participants. The electricity sector has continued to develop under the regulatory guidance of the CER.
The CER regulates the monopoly electricity transmission and distribution systems (high and low voltage wires/pylons) with the aim of delivering "value for money" for the end customer.
In November 2007 the wholesale Single Electricity Market (SEM) went live across the island of Ireland. The SEM is regulated by the SEM Commitee, consisting of the CER in Dublin, the Utility Regulator in Belfast and an independent member.
The retail electricity market opened fully to competition on 19 February 2005 and independent companies now supply almost half of electricity consumed (by volume) in Ireland..
Power generation in Ireland is carried out by ESB Power Generation (ESB PG) as well as by a number of independently owned power stations.
These stations generate electricity from fuels such as oil, coal and gas, as well as indigenous fuels including hydro, wind, peat and biomass.
To connect to the electricity network, a generator connecting must hold an Authorisation to Construct or Reconstruct a Generating Station and a Generator Licence.
The CER is responsible for assessing and for granting or refusing to grant these permits. The conditions imposed in the Authorisation and in the Licence must be met by the generator and compliance is monitored by the CER on an ongoing basis.
Under section 16 of the Electricity Regulation Act anyone wishing to construct a new generating station or reconstruct an existing generating station must obtain an authorisation from the CER prior to commencing work.
Under section 14 of the Electricity Regulation Act all generators must obtain a generation licence from the CER. The CER can consider a number of factors in evaluating a licence application. These may include, for example, the availability of sufficient appropriate financial, managerial or technical resources to ensure that the generator is able to comply with the terms and conditions that govern the electricity generation licence.
For further details click on the link to the CER website in the 'Associated Links' section of this page.