ESB Networks and Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 applies to ESB Networks DAC.  in its capacity as the licensed Distribution System Operator (DSO). A copy of the Distribution System Operator licence can be downloaded here (PDF | 1 MB).

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI Act) provides that every person has the right to:

  • Access records held by FOI bodies (as defined in the FOI Act)
  • Have personal information held on them by an FOI body corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • Be provided with reasons for decisions taken by FOI bodies that affect them.

The Act requires FOI bodies to respond to request for information that they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within four weeks of receiving it.

FOI bodies are also required to publish information in line with the model publication scheme and are encouraged to publish as much information as possible outside of FOI.

It is important to note that it may not be necessary to make a request for information under the FOI Act. A considerable amount of information is already made available to the public through websites, information leaflets, and publications and in response to oral and written enquiries.

You can download the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (PDF | 763 KB).

Further information is available on the website of the FOI Central Policy Unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

For further queries on FOI in relation to ESB Networks DAC. you can email foi@esbnetworks.ie or write to:

ESB Networks DAC
Freedom of Information Office
5th Floor, Clanwilliam House, Clanwilliam Place, Dublin 2
Ireland

1. Send in a request using one of the following options:

Your FOI request should include the following:

  • Declaration that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act
  • As much detail as possible about the requested records
  • Format you wish to receive any records released in (e.g. photocopies)
  • Your contact information.

Please note that proof of identity is required in the case of an FOI request for personal information.  

2. Receive an acknowledgement

We will issue a letter of acknowledgement to you within 10 working days (excluding public holidays) of your request being received. The next stages of the process will be clearly explained in this letter.

3. Decision is issued

A decision will normally be issued within 20 working days of the receipt of your request. If an extension is necessary to facilitate the completion of the request, we will contact you and explain the requirement.

Please contact our FOI Unit if you require any assistance in making a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 via post at:

FOI Officer
ESB Networks DAC, Freedom of Information Office
5th Floor, Clanwilliam House,
Clanwilliam Place, Dublin 2
Ireland.

Email: foi@esbnetworks.ie

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 applies to ESB Networks DAC. in its capacity as the licensed Distribution System Operator License (DSO) (PDF | 1 MB).

From 14 October 2015, the public can seek access to records concerning ESB Networks Ltd. functions under its Distribution System Operator Licence created on or after 21 April 2008 and to personal information with no date restrictions. A copy of the Distribution System Operator License (DSO) (PDF | 1 MB) can be reviewed here.

To allow ESB Networks DAC. to properly conduct its business, it is often necessary to exempt certain types of information from release under specific circumstances set out in the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the exemptions are records relating to confidential or commercially sensitive information, and the personal information of other people. If any exemptions are necessary, we will explain the reasons to you.

A request may also be refused for other reasons, such as if it is unclear. In such cases, we aim to help you overcome such issues with requests.

Please be aware that ESB is not included as an FOI Body under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Accordingly, FOI requests to ESB cannot be processed by the ESB Networks Ltd. FOI Office.

Not necessarily. We routinely make information available to the public through the ESB Networks website. FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records concerning ESB Networks DAC. functions under its Distribution System Operator Licence which are not made routinely available.

To find out more about what information is available, please see our Publication Scheme.

There is no charge for submitting a request. There is no charge for receiving information if the records only contain personal information relating to the applicant (unless there are a significant number of records).

For non-personal requests, the following charges apply:

Cost of search, retrieval and copying  ​Fee Charged
 Less than €101  Free of charge
 €500 - €700  Maximum of €500
 More than €700  ESB Networks DAC. may refuse to process the request

 Table 1 - Charges for non-personal requests

Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified and explained to you in writing.

How to make a payment

Payment should be made by cheque, bank draft or postal order and made payable to: ESB Networks and sent to:

ESB Networks DAC, .FOI Office
5th Floor,
Clanwilliam House,
Clanwilliam Place,
Dublin 2, Ireland

List of FOI Fees

  • Search and Retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above. We will provide you with an estimate of these fees before they are incurred;
  • Photocopying - €0.04 per sheet
  • Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders)
  • Appeal to the Information Commissioner fee €50 (€15 for medical card holders).

 

Notes:

  1. If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing HSE Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that Board.
  2. A full list of fees is available from the ESB Networks DAC. FOI Office on request.

You may appeal any decision by writing to the ESB Networks DAC. Freedom of Information Office, 5th Floor, Clanwilliam House, Clanwilliam Place, Dublin 2,  Ireland, seeking an internal review of the matter.

A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information, or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

You should make your appeal within four weeks of the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances).The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of ESB Networks staff and a decision will be communicated to you within three weeks.

You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal, the Information Commissioner will fully investigate the matter and issue a fresh decision. All appeals should be addressed to:

The Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
DO2 HE97

Phone: +353 1 6395689
Locall: 1850 22 30 30
Fax: +353 1 6395674
Email: info@oic.ie

A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.