ESB and the Environment
At ESB, we are committed to conducting our activities and those of subsidiary companies in an environmentally responsible manner. To set and maintain standards, all of our main businesses within the ESB group operate an Environmental Management System (EMS) in line with ISO 14001.
Our Group Policy for Environmental Management and Sustainability Framework sets out the high-level principles and context for the management and oversight of environmental and sustainability issues within the ESB Group.
ESB’s Thermal Power and Hydro Stations
The environmental aspects of ESB's thermal power stations within the Republic of Ireland are controlled through Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Licences, as well as Greenhouse Gas Permits. These licenses and permits are issued and monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are also audited by the EPA and a third party verifier on at least an annual basis.
Annual emission reports are submitted to the EPA and are available on their website here. ESB's hydro stations are also subject to environmental control through discharge licenses issued and are monitored by the relevant local authority. Please see the relevant local authority website for further information.
EC (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 – 2014
Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is a public authority for purposes of the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007-2014 (the “AIE Regulations”). Under the AIE Regulations you are entitled to request access to information on the environment that is held by or for ESB.
Categories of environmental information that you can request from ESB under the Regulations
Only environmental information can be requested under the AIE Regulations;. “environmental information” means any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other material form on:
- the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms and the interaction among these elements;
- factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment;
- measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;
- reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;
- cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in paragraph (c); and
- the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are, or may be, affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in paragraph (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c).
Please note that certain environmental information relating to our generating business is already publically available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s website (www.epa.ie) or requests can be made directly to the Environmental Protection Agency. Similarly, information submitted by ESB as part of the planning application process is also publically available through the relevant local authority’s website or An Bord Pleanála’s website (www.pleanala.ie), or by contacting the relevant bodies directly.
Our latest Sustainability Report provides further information about our environmental strategy and performance and is available at:
How to make a Request to ESB
To submit a request for environmental information to ESB, e-mail AIERequests@esb.ie
or write to:- Suzanne Moran
ESB AIE Requests Co-ordinator,
East Wall Road,
Dublin 3, D03 A995
All requests should:
be made in writing or electronic form,
- state that the request is made under the AIE Regulations,
- state your name, address and any other relevant contact details,
- state as specifically as possible, the environmental information that you require from ESB, and
- if you require access to the environmental information in a particular form or manner, specify the form or manner of access desired.
Where a request is made to ESB under the AIE Regulations and (i) the environmental information requested is not held by ESB and (ii) ESB believes that the information is or may be held by another Public Authority under the AIE Regulations, ESB will transfer your request as soon as possible to the relevant Public Authority under Article 7(6) of the AIE Regulations. In these circumstances you will be informed that your request has been transferred.
As provided for under the AIE Regulations, ESB will try to respond to your request as soon as possible. No later than one month after the receipt of your request we will either respond with a decision, notify you of the transfer of your request to another Public Authority or notify you that an extra month is required (as provided under the AIE Regulations) to deal with your request.
ESB may apply charges for photocopying of documents. Charges will be as follows:
Photocopy: €0.04 per A4 page
ESB Networks DAC
As a vertically integrated utility, ESB operates right across the electricity market: from generation, through transmission and distribution to supply. These activities are carried out through various business units and subsidiary companies. One of these subsidiary companies, ESB Networks DAC, a ring-fenced subsidiary within ESB Group, is the licensed Distribution System Operator for Ireland and in this capacity operates the electricity distribution system in the Republic of Ireland. ESB Networks DAC also carries out ESB’s functions of the Transmission Asset Owner and Distribution Asset Owner. ESB Networks DAC is itself a Public Authority for purposes of the AIE Regulations. Information on the activities carried out by ESB Networks DAC are available at the following website:
Information on how to make a request for environmental information to ESB Networks DAC is available at https://esbnetworks.ie/acting-responsibly/environmental-policy/environmental-policy
Right of Appeal
Under the AIE Regulations, you have the right to request an internal appeal of any decision issued to you in response to a request for environmental information made in accordance with the AIE Regulations. Details on how to request an internal appeal will be set out in the response issued to you.
You can find more information on the AIE Regulations at these external links.
Types of Environmental Information held by ESB
(Note that the following list is non exhaustive but is illustrative of the type of environmental information held by ESB).
Information relating to:
- Biodiversity including Biodiversity Policy and environmental impact studies;
- Environmental Compliance, including licenses and permits
- Emissions into the environment,including emissions from generating stations and information regarding Transmission and Distribution Losses
- Electromagnetic Fields (commonly known as EMF)
- Effluents and Waste, including waste and litter management, waste licenses and statistics;
- ESB’s Environmental Management Systems, which is externally certified to the International Standard ISO 14001, including job aids, policies and procedures, emergency response information, communication information and initiatives;
- ESB Annual Fisheries Report
- Maps, including geographical network diagram information systems. (Note that maps held by ESB do not necessarily constitute environmental information in and of themselves, but may contain environmental information).
- Information relating to Planning Matters, including:
- Planning Applications
- Planning Permissions
- Appropriate Assessments
- Environmental Impact Assessments,
- Strategic Environmental Assessments;
- Annual Sustainability Reports containing information on the full activities of ESB Group prepared in accordance with GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, as well as the Electric Utilities Sector Supplement. These reports focus on:
- Development of a low-carbon portfolio
- Energy efficiency and affordability for customers
- Development of resilient networks to facilitate renewable energy
- Evolution of emerging technologies
- Operational energy-efficient and environmental management