Ireland Unites Electricity Market

An Irish Single Electricity Market [SEM] became a reality at midnight and involved the combination of the two separate wholesale markets North and South into one cross-border market.

The new single market is the first cross-border market of its kind in Europe and the regulatory authorities said it was both more efficient and cost-effective.

Integration of the two markets will improve security of electricity supply and competition in providing supply "an improved price outlook than would otherwise be possible" according to the regulators, North and South.

All electricity produced on the island will now be sold into one large 'pool' and supply companies then buy their power out of the pool.

The market has been specifically designed to set the cheapest possible price for electricity at all times - with no one company having an undue influence over electricity prices.

Tom Reeves Chairman of the Commission for Energy Regulation in the Republic and Iain Osborne, Chief Utility Regulator in the North, both strongly welcomed the groundbreaking move.

In a joint statement that acknowledged "the significant effort and co-operation across the industry in achieving this goal".

They added: "Go-live of the SEM is the culmination of a number of years of cross-border co-operation, as both regulators worked towards the common goal of introducing a market that would benefit customers in all parts of the island."

Regulatory matters about the all-island market will be handled by a new SEM committee - established under law in both jurisdictions - and compromising members from both authorities and an independent member and deputy independent member.

Harry McCracken, Group Managing Director of Viridian Power and Energy, welcomed the launch of the Single Electricity Market.

He said: "We are delighted to welcome a new era in the electricity industry on the island of Ireland.

"Viridian has played a leading role in promoting and developing the all-island electricity market and we believe that the single electricity market will increasingly deliver choice and competitively priced electricity supplies to customers throughout the island."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 April 2019
Govt Allocates €70k To Island Administration Work
The Government has allocated €70,000 of funding for Comhar na nOileán Teo, as announced by Minister Séan Kyne, the Government Chief-Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands.
21 March 2019
Govt Pledge €450k For Aran Island Post-Primary Schools
The government has pledged an allowance of €450,000 for the benefit of post-primary schools on the Aran Islands. Seán Kyne T.D., the Government Chief Whip and the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands announced the news yesterday, Wednesday 20 March.
27 May 2010
Competition Sparks Northern Power Market
A Republic of Ireland energy firm will begin selling power to households in Northern Ireland in June. Airtricity will be the first company to compete with NIE Energy in the domestic electricity market.
18 September 2019
Other News In Brief
Adbucted NI Man Dumped In Co Cavan A man abducted from his home in Northern Ireland was dumped at the side of a road in Co Cavan after being badly beaten, it has emerged. An investigation is underway following the serious assault on Tuesday evening, 17 September.
18 September 2012
Bord Gáis Announce 5% Price Increase
Domestic electricity bills could increase by more than €50 a year as Bord Gáis announce a 5% price hike. The price increase, which will come into effect from 15 October, will see customers paying over 15% more for their electricity than 12 months ago.