The CRU – The Commission for Regulation of Utilities
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), is an independent body that regulates the electricity and natural gas sectors in Ireland and aims to act in the interests of energy customers.
What is the CRU?
The CRU (previously the Commission for Energy Regulation) has a wide remit - to regulate water, energy and energy safety.
In relation to energy, the CRU aims to ensure that both electricity and gas sources are available and that the prices charged are fair and reasonable. It also aims to make sure that electricity and gas is supplied in a safe way, and doesn’t harm the environment.
In addition, the CRU looks to promote competition and switching in the energy sector and is responsible for licensing electricity and natural gas suppliers.
Why does the CRU exist?
Energy is something we all need in our homes - and supply and prices can be volatile - so it’s really important that there is a body that looks after the interests of energy customers.
The CRU’s aim is to ensure that customers can benefit from increased choice, greater efficiency, lower prices and higher standards of service.
What powers and responsibilities does the CRU have?
Some of the key areas that the CRU looks after include:
- Ensuring protection for the disadvantaged and elderly, so that vulnerable customers are safe.
- Ensuring processes for energy supply are carried out in a safe and ethical manner, as the process of transporting energy can be dangerous.
- Regulating supply processes so that people working within energy companies are safe.
- Making sure a constant energy supply is available and being delivered to all parts of the country.
The CRU also oversees the electricity generation and retail markets to encourage investment and greater levels of competition, and looks to ensure that energy suppliers operate ethically when it comes to pricing.
In addition, the CRU is also responsible for approving the level of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy each year.
Renewable energy is also very important to both the electricity and gas sectors and the CRU is responsible for promoting renewable forms of energy in Ireland.
How does the CRU affect me?
As the energy market regulator, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities makes sure that energy suppliers comply to a certain set of standards when they’re dealing with you.
The CRU can also act in instances of non-compliance, so if companies are found mis-selling energy, they can be reprimanded for this.
On top of this, the CRU can act on your behalf if you’ve made a complaint to your supplier and it hasn’t been sorted out to your satisfaction.