The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) published a Consultation Paper on the 18th August 2022 where it is proposing a structural change to the Electricity Network Tariffs, applying from 1st October 2022 to 30 September 2023. The CRU believes it is necessary to act quickly due to the electricity supply issues facing Ireland. Some causes for a shortage in electricity supply include an increase in demand, closure of large electricity generation units, a failure of contracted generation capacity to deliver and an accelerated degradation of the existing fleet as it responds to intermittent wind generation. The insurance of supply will place some pressure on Irelands Climate Action Plan goals with shortfalls expected in the winter months from 2022 to 2024.
Some measures the CRU are taking to mitigate the expected challenges include:
- The CRU is including the cost of obtaining temporary emergency generation to the network tariffs applying from October 1st while proposing the introduction of a set of new tariff measures.
- The proposed tariff measures will primarily target Extra Large Energy Users (EXLEUs) to incentivise changes in customer behaviour.
- Increasing Block Tariff – Tarriff applied to XLEUs who substantially increase their demand relative to the previous year.
- System Alert Tariff – Tariff applied from when the Transmission System Operator (TSO) issues a System Alert to an XLEU
- Decarbonisation Tariff – Tariff applied to XLEUs when consuming during periods of low wind, below a proposed level of 25% production.
- Applying Peak or Time of Use Tariffs for Transmission and Distribution at 17:00 – 19:00 with the goal of reducing the demand at the critical peak period.
- ESB Networks’ Beat the Peak Initiatives will develop and support schemes for both domestic and non-domestic customers through its National Network, Local Connections Project, with a request to Suppliers to proactively develop products/initiatives for customers to encourage them to reduce their demand and/or improve their energy efficiency.
Separately, Energy Ministers from EU member states will hold urgent talks in Brussels on 9 September, ‘The Skyrocketing electricity prices are now exposing the limitation of our current electricity market design,’ EU Commission president Ursula von fer Leyen told a forum in Beld, Slovenia. ‘It was developed under completely different circumstances and for completely different purposes. It is no longer fit for purpose,’ she said.