The paper (the ‘Consultation Response’) provides a detailed overview to the feedback received during the public consultation of EirGrid’s review of stakeholder engagement activity during 2021. The document includes EirGrid’s response to feedback received to our draft report
EirGrid is the electricity transmission system operator and market operator for Ireland. We believe that working together with all stakeholders – customers and industry, the public and local communities – leads to better outcomes that reflect all views. We will use the feedback received in this process to improve our plans for stakeholder engagement in future. EirGrid is constantly seeking to improve our processes for engagement and consultation and we therefore appreciate all feedback received.
The aim of the Consultation Response Paper is to summarise the responses we received during the consultation process, and to explain how we will respond to this feedback. The Consultation Response Paper, together with our 2021 Stakeholder Engagement Report and our presentation to the Networks Stakeholder Engagement Evaluation (NSEE) Panel, comprises our submission to the NSEE Panel for 2021.
This review process is carried out in the context of the annual external evaluation carried out by the NSEE Panel. The NSEE process was established in PR4 and has been retained by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) for the PR5 period, in accordance with the PR5 Regulatory Framework, Incentives and Reporting (CRU/20/154). This evaluation is an independent analysis of the effectiveness of EirGrid’s stakeholder engagement, and we welcome the objective insights and learnings from this evaluation.
In developing the 2021 Stakeholder Engagement Report, EirGrid was cognisant of the criteria for assessment that was set out in Annex 14 of the CRU/20/154. The criteria set out a requirement to demonstrate, with evidence, the presence of the following:
- a comprehensive, up-to-date stakeholder engagement strategy, and management systems and processes within the business to enable its delivery;
- a delivered set of channels and initiatives for engaging with stakeholders, consistent with the documented strategy; and
- demonstrable positive impacts on stakeholders, stakeholder groups or the business consequent to the delivered channels and initiatives.
In 2021, EirGrid demonstrated a clear step change in our approach, methodology and channels of stakeholder engagement.
We ensured that this evolution in our stakeholder engagement was in line with our principles; how we identify stakeholders and how we work to involve them in key decisions.
In the face of on-going public health restrictions, much of our engagement remained on-line, and, cognisant of this, EirGrid endeavoured to be innovative to ensure that our stakeholders could benefit from impactful engagement on key and critical issues.
The Stakeholder Engagement Report contains a review of EirGrid’s stakeholder engagement activities during 2021. We believe that we clearly demonstrate how working together with all stakeholders – customers and industry, the public and local communities – leads to better and more impactful and inclusive outcomes that reflect all views.
Your views and suggestions
We received a total of three responses from the following organisations:
- Bord Gáis Energy (BGE)
- Energy Storage Ireland (ESI)
- Wind Energy Ireland (WEI)
We would like to thank all those who responded to this consultation. Some comments related to matters of individual policy and, as a result, are not specifically within scope and have not been addressed in this document
Several common themes were raised in the submissions we received, which we comment on in this response. We have addressed below how these themes have been incorporated into our final 2021 Stakeholder Engagement Report.
In the Consultation Response document, we seek to address the comments and feedback received as follows:
- Overarching Themes of Responses Received. Where there was commonality in the points raised on high level topics/themes, we have sought to address these collectively; and
- Specific Consultee Comments. The respective respondents raised some specific points which are not specifically covered in the updated 2021 Stakeholder Engagement Report or under the overarching themes or and these are addressed here.
EirGrid looks forward to continued engagement with stakeholders to optimise our stakeholder engagement strategy in future.
Overall, respondents welcomed this consultation on EirGrid’s Stakeholder Engagement Report for 2021. The improvements to our stakeholder engagement that we have implemented were acknowledged by respondents, who also welcomed the additional clarity that our Stakeholder Engagement Report has provided to strengthen our stakeholder engagement. While welcoming this feedback, we recognise that there are areas which could still be improved and that our stakeholder engagement is a process of continuous improvement.
We have updated our 2021 Stakeholder Engagement Report, which was published on our website on the 17th of May 2022, to include feedback that we received from our stakeholders around transparency and the timing of our engagement.