Electricity Regulation Act, 1999

Functions of Commission.

9.—(1) The Commission shall have the following functions, namely—

(a) to publish, pursuant to a policy direction or directions of the Minister, which shall be made publicly available when given to the Commission, proposals for a system of contracts and other arrangements, including appropriate rights and obligations, for trading in electricity,

(b) to engage in a public consultation process on the procedures to be adopted by the Commission to implement the proposals drawn up under paragraph (a),

(c) to advise the Minister on the impact of electricity generation in relation to sustainability, and international agreements on the environment to which the State is or becomes a party,

(d) following the public consultation process referred to in paragraph (b) and taking account of matters raised in the public consultation process, to make regulations, subject to the consent of the Minister, establishing a system of trading in electricity, including the supervision and review of such a system by the Commission, and

(e) to advise the Minister on the development of the electricity industry and on the exercise of the functions of the Minister under this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (1) (a), a policy direction of the Minister shall include a direction that procedures of the Commission enable the implementation of orders made by the Minister under sections 39 and 40.

(3) It shall be the duty of the Minister and the Commission to carry out their functions and exercise the powers conferred on them under this Act in a manner which—

(a) does not discriminate unfairly between holders of licences, authorisations and the Board or between applicants for authorisations or licences, and

(b) the Minister or the Commission, as the case may be, considers protects the interests of final customers.

(4) In carrying out the duty imposed by subsection (3), the Minister and the Commission shall have regard to the need:

(a) to promote competition in the generation and supply of electricity in accordance with this Act;

(b) to secure that all reasonable demands by final customers of electricity for electricity are satisfied;

(c) to secure that licence holders are capable of financing the undertaking of the activities which they are licensed to undertake;

(d) to promote safety and efficiency on the part of electricity undertakings;

(e) to promote the continuity, security and quality of supplies of electricity; and

(f) to promote the use of renewable, sustainable or alternative forms of energy.

(5) Without prejudice to subsections (3) and (4), it shall be the duty of the Commission:

(a) to take account of the protection of the environment;

(b) to encourage the efficient use and production of electricity;

(c) to take account of the needs of rural customers, the disadvantaged and the elderly;

(d) to encourage research and development into—

(i) methods of generating electricity using renewable, sustainable and alternative forms of energy and combined heat and power, and

(ii) methods of increasing efficiency in the use and production of electricity;


(e) to require that the system operator gives priority to generating stations using renewable, sustainable or alternative energy sources when selecting generating stations.