European Network Codes

What are they?

The European Network Codes are a new set of minimum requirements for transmission and distribution system operators, and all users of the transmission and distribution systems.

  • Does this affect me?
    This will not affect our existing customers. Any new or different requirements will only apply to new distribution system connections. New generators connecting to the distribution system who sign a final binding contract for their plant from May 2018 onwards will be subject to the EU Network Code requirements.

    If new demand customers who sign a final binding contract for their plant from September 2018 onwards wish to participate in “demand side units”, they will need to comply with the European Network Codes. However this does not apply if they have signed a final binding contract for their plant before September 2018 and can confirm this to ESB Networks by March 2019.
  • How will this affect me?
    The Distribution Code is the set of technical rules which all distribution customers and ESB Networks comply with today.The Distribution Code already ensures that we have an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system.

    We are working with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, EirGrid and representatives from across the electricity industry, to make sure that the Distribution Code fully reflects the requirements of the European Network Codes.

    So by meeting the requirements of the Distribution Code – as they already do – our customers will be in full compliance with the EU Network Codes. By going about it this way, we are making sure that there is as little change as possible for any customers affected.
  • How are we going about it?
    The Distribution Code can only be changed with approval from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU).
    This happens when the Distribution Code Review Panel – a group representing the views of the system operators, generators, major customers, suppliers and other distribution system users – considers and recommends a change.

    Any changes to the Distribution Code to meet European Network Code requirements will be subject to the recommendation of this panel, and to CRU approval. Some of the areas addressed in the codes will be subject to public consultation – even if no change is proposed or required.

Public Consultations


We are publicly consulting on many of the changes which will be proposed for the Distribution Code, jointly with EirGrid. The first consultation was held in April 2017. This consultation addressed the thresholds for different requirements to apply to generators. The second public consultation commenced on 20th December 2017. This consultation addresses the non-exhaustive parameters of the technical connection requirements which will apply to new generation whose plant is procured after March 2018. You can view all of the public consultations and find out how to respond below.

Public Consultations

The Published Codes

You can download and read the primary EU texts. However the requirements as they apply in Ireland will be developed and transferred into the existing Distribution Code.

View the EU Primary Texts

Get in Touch
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