Grab yourself a jumper because ongoing high price of electricity is enough to chill your bones
Energy is a small word but it has a big impact. Depending on the context, energy has multiple roles around the farm and home. A neighbour had an energy-less home-helper that would "lift everything around the house except her feet".
When feeding livestock, energy is the food fraction that puts oomph into the animal to deliver weight gain and milk.
Energy propels our cars, heats our homes, cooks our food, lights up the night darkness. It drives our farms and our factories. It's everywhere. Availability and affordability of energy is vital to our wellbeing as individuals and as a nation.
The cost of energy is crucial to economic survival and prosperity. And now, because some energy sources, such as oil, are being exhausted, the issue of energy is becoming highly political as well.
Eleven years ago in 1999, the then Government set up the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) to oversee and deliver the optimum electrical and gas energy package for Ireland.
Accepting that energy is so crucial to our economy, how are we faring pricewise?
Not so well when you look at the price we are paying for electricity. Eurostat figures for a range of EU countries for 1999 and 2009 are shown in the table (pictured). These show that Ireland has slipped from having the third cheapest in 1999, to having the most expensive electricity in 2009.
Over the decade our electricity price jumped by 125pc whereas average price across the EU increased by less than 20pc. In our nearest neighbour, the UK, prices went up 45pc.