Natural gas can be used for domestic central heating, cooking, real flame fires or tumble-drying. In addition, natural gas has a range of applications for business customers. It is piped underground and connected to properties so there is no need to store it.
Responsibility for natural gas pipeline infrastructure is with Ervia, owned by the government. It is a multi-utility company, responsible for strategic national gas and water services and related infrastructure.
The gas supply market has been gradually opened to competition. All business and residential customers are now able to choose their own supplier. The Commission for Energy Regulation licenses gas suppliers. You can also view a full list of natural gas suppliers on the Regulator's website.
The electricity market in Ireland is operated by state-owned Electricity Supply Board (ESB). The company owns and manages the electricity network and operates 19 major power stations throughout Ireland and a number of smaller stations in 28 sites around the country.
You can view a full list of natural electricity suppliers on this list.
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) regulates the electricity market and can deal with unresolved complaints.
The standard electricity voltage in Ireland is 230V a.c., nominal, at 50Hz, with plugs being of the 3 pin IS411 (BS 1363) type. If you are moving to Ireland or coming to Ireland on holiday, you should check any electrical appliances you wish to bring with you in advance to ensure that you can use them in Ireland.
Electricity is generated in Ireland from a number of sources such as gas, coal, oil and renewable sources.
Public water mains are administered and maintained by local authorities. This water is supplied to homes and businesses in urban areas. At present, charges are only levied on water supplied to commercial premises.
The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government funds the provision and upgrading of capital projects in water and wastewater services, as well as the Irish water supply infrastructure maintaining and improving (pipes, filtration and disinfection systems). Since 1 January 2014, responsibility for the efficient supply of water to homes and businesses has transferred from local authorities to Irish Water, the new national water services authority.
Many households that are not connected to a public water supply are served by group water schemes. These schemes are formed by two or more households coming together to provide their own common water supply. The group elects a trustee to act on behalf of its members in all dealings with the local authority.
Usually, group schemes are established in areas where the local authority does not intend to install a water supply system in the near future. Group water schemes can get water supplies from the public mains, if possible, or a private source like wells or lakes.
You have to pay for your water if you belong to a private group water scheme. However, local authorities do provide subsidies for each house in a group scheme (see rates). Local authorities have the remit to test the water supply and ensure it is safe to drink but they are not responsible for maintaining group scheme pipes and filtration systems.
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
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