The Electricity Regulation Act,1999, as amended, sets out the current legislative framework for Direct Lines. Specifically, Section 37 of the 1999 Act provides that the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) may grant permission to construct a direct line not connected to the transmission system or distribution system but only where an application to connect and use the transmission or distribution system has been refused on the grounds of lack of capacity. Section 37 also provides for dispute resolution by the CRU if a direct line is refused grid connection.
Under Action 22 of the Climate Action Plan my Department is leading consideration to further the facilitation of private networks / direct lines. Working with the CRU, EirGrid and ESB Networks, detailed work will be undertaken in the new year to investigate the policy options for the further facilitation of private network/direct lines, with a view to bringing forward any legislative changes deemed necessary in the context of the transposition of the Clean Energy Package. The outcome of that work will lay the legislative foundation for any future changes to the regulatory framework and market rules around direct lines and private networks.