Dublin, Ireland/Belfast, Northern Ireland — (METERING.COM) — November 2, 2007 – Ireland’s energy regulators, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR), have announced that the island’s Single Electricity Market (SEM) went live at 00h00 on November 1, 2007.
From that point on, all SEM license and contractual arrangements that have been developed over the past months take full effect.
The SEM combines the two separate wholesale markets North and South into one cross-border market, and all electricity produced within Ireland is now sold into one large “pool”, from which the supply companies buy power. The market is specifically designed to set the cheapest possible price for electricity at all times, with no one company having an undue influence over electricity prices.
The single wholesale market introduces a new culture of cooperation in the energy field which should benefit all customers. Competition will be enhanced, leading to improved choice across the island and a more improved price outlook than would otherwise be possible. The integration of the two markets will also improve electricity security of supply.
Tom Reeves, chairman of the CER, and Iain Osborne, CEO of NIAUR, have both strongly welcomed the implementation of the SEM, with acknowledgement of the significant effort and cooperation across the industry in achieving this goal. Go-live of the SEM is the culmination of a number of years of cross border cooperation, and the regulators have committed to continuing to work together to ensure the full advantages of the SEM are realized.
Under the joint nature of these new electricity trading arrangements all SEM matters will be referred for decision to a joint SEM Committee, comprising members of the two regulatory authorities as well as an independent and deputy independent member.
Ireland’s SEM is the first cross border market of its kind in Europe.