Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who are the CER and what do they do?
The CER is the Commission for Energy Regulation. It has responsibility for regulating natural gas and electricity in Ireland. The CER acts in the interests of consumers, ensuring that:
- the lights stay on,
- the gas continues to flow,
- the prices charged are fair and reasonable,
- the environment is protected, and
- electricity and gas are supplied safely.
Q. Who should I contract for queries relating to energy prices?
Responsibility for the regulation of BGE tariffs lies with the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). The CER can be contacted by telephone at (01) 4000 800 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Independent suppliers are free to set their own tariffs.
Q. What queries can the Electricity and Gas Regulation Division deal with?
The Electricity and Gas Regulation Division is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policy on the liberalisation and regulation of the electricity and gas markets in the State. It also has responsibility for the formulation of policy on safety and security of supply for gas and electricity for the State, and for the corporate governance of the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). The Division is also involved in the assessment and planning of energy infrastructure enhancements in contexts of security of supply, and economic and regional development, including the National Spatial Strategy. The Division can therefore deal with queries in these fields.
Q. What legislation has been passed in recent years that govern gas and electricity matters?
Please see the legislation section on this website.
Q. Where can I get information about gas safety in the home?
You can get information about gas safety in the home from the http://www.carbonmonoxide.ie/ website and the Gas Safety at home section of the Bord Gáis website.
Q. If I smell gas at home what should I do?
- Ensure gas appliances haven’t been left on and unlit,
- don’t smoke or use a naked flame,
- don’t unplug or switch anything electrical on or off,
- open windows and doors,
- if the appliances are off but the smell persists you should turn the gas off at the meter.
You should call the Bord Gais 24-hour Emergency Line on 1850 20 50 50. If you can’t get through, dial 999. Don’t use a phone in the immediate area of the leak, use a neighbour’s or call from outside
Q. If I smell gas on the street what should I do?
You should call the Bord Gais 24-hour Emergency Line on 1850 20 50 50. If you can’t get through, dial 999. Don’t assume someone else has reported the smell.
Q. Who should I contact if I have difficulties dealing with my energy supplier or network operator?
The CER will deal with any unresolved complaints when dealing with your supplier or network operator. Before the CER can help you with your complaint you must first contact your supplier or network operator and complete their complaints handling process. This gives your supplier an opportunity to resolve your complaint directly. The CER can be contacted by telephone at (01) 4000 800 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Q. If I have a problem with my energy bill, what can I do?
If you are experiencing difficulties with any aspect of your bill you should contact your supplier first to rectify the situation. If your complaint is unresolved and you have been through your supplier or network operator’s full complaints handling process you may refer your complaint to the CER for investigation. The CER can be contacted by telephone at (01) 4000 800 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q. How do I claim free gas or electricity allowance?
Through the social welfare system, there are dedicated specific allowances in relation to fuel poverty, such as the National Fuel Allowance Scheme and the Electricity and Gas Allowances paid as part of the household benefits package (HBS). If you are in receipt of a pension or state benefit you may qualify. Further information on the National Fuel Scheme can be found at http://www.welfare.ie/publications/sw17.html and information on Natural Gas / Electricity allowance at http://www.welfare.ie/publications/sw107.html. Alternatively you can lo-call 1890 50 00 00 ext 48371.
Q. Where do we get our Natural Gas supply?
87% of Ireland’s gas is imported from the UK through the Moffat pipeline which links the UK to Ireland. The remainder is provided by indigenous supplies. There is existing indigenous production at the Kinsale Gas Field and satellite fields off the south coast of Ireland but this is expected to decline over the next few years. New indigenous production from the Seven Heads facility also came on shore in 2003, through the nearby Kinsale Head facility. Further indigenous gas supplies were discovered at the Corrib field, located off the West Coast of Ireland. Despite the more recent finds of indigenous gas fields at Seven Heads and Corrib, the Irish gas market is expected to continue to be heavily reliant on Interconnection with the UK market.
Q. What causes gas prices to fluctuate?
Ireland imports 87% of its Natural Gas. The Irish market is therefore highly susceptible to changes in wholesale gas prices worldwide. The increasing cost of wholesale gas worldwide has lead to a significant and direct impact on energy prices for customers in Ireland. While the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) regulates BGE’s gas prices charged, the main cause for the price increase relates to the international wholesale price of gas which is outside the control of the CER. The CER holds regular public consultations on such issues. To view the current CER consultations on gas please click here.
Q. How do I get connected to the gas network?
To connect your home or premises to the natural gas networks, you need to contact Bord Gáis Networks to check if your home or premises is in an area that is served by the gas networks. You can call them on 1850 427 737. Once you establish that you can be connected to the network you should choose an installer for your gas appliances. Information is available from the RGII website. You will be required to provide a certificate of conformance which shows that the work done on your premises is compliant with set standards before Bord Gáis Networks will install a meter for gas supply. Once this has been done you need to nominate a gas supplier to get your gas switched on.
Q. Can I change my gas supplier?
Ireland's natural gas market became fully liberalised on 1 July 2007 in line with EU legislative requirements on gas market opening. From that date the benefits of liberalisation, which were previously for industrial and commercial consumers, were extended to residential natural gas customers, allowing them to shop around for their supplier and to obtain the best value for money.
Q. What kind of notice am I entitled to before a planned interruption to my electricity supply, due to work on the network?
ESB Networks guarantee to provide at least 2 days notice for planned interruptions due to system upgrades or connecting new customers in your area. If ESB Networks defaults on this guarantee a compensatory payment may be claimed. Please see the ESB Networks Customer Charter for more information on this and other guarantees.
Q. Who should I contact if my electricity supply is cut off without warning?
You should call the ESB Networks emergency number on (lo-call) 1850 37 29 99.
Q. How long can I expect to wait for a new electricity connection?
Applications for new connections should be made as early as possible in the building or development process. ESB Networks provides a guarantee that they will connect electricity within 2 weeks of receipt of the ETCI Completion Certificate provided certain circumstances are met. For more information please see the ESB Networks Customer Charter
Q. What causes electricity prices to fluctuate?
Electricity prices are driven by two key factors; investment in network infrastructure and the cost of fuel for generation. Fuel costs have increased significantly over recent years for a variety of reasons. At the same time, Ireland's electricity network is undergoing a major refurbishment program. The increase in both these factors has in turn, led to increased electricity charges. The CER holds regular public consultations on such issues. To view the current CER consultations on electricity please click here.
Q. Where do I find up to date information on the performance and operation of the electricity system?
The Transmission System Operator (TSO) publishes up-to-date information on the system performance on http://www.eirgrid.com/. In addition, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) publishes a weekly report in the Weekly Generation Update section, summarising the performance of the electricity system over the previous week.
Q. What is the generation fuel mix in Ireland?
Details of Ireland’s generation system are published both in the Generation Adequacy Report (http://www.eirgrid.com/) and also in the Commission for Energy Regulation’s security of supply report which can be found in the Reports and Publications section.