ESB workers get an average annual salary of €65,000 – but this can be substantially boosted through allowances, not to mention the benefit of a 55pc discount on their electricity bills.
The discounted energy survived a cost-cutting exercise pushed through by the company in 2011.
At the time, the ESB did manage to secure reductions in lump-sum payments, overtime and expenses.
Workers such as engineers get allowances for being available to work at any time, and could get double time for working Saturdays and triple time for Sundays.
The company also paid allowances for being on call, 'oil tanker attendance', as well as 'first aid' and 'qualification' allowances.
Brendan Ogle described ESB workers as "spoilt" in 2011, causing outrage among staff, although he said it was taken out of context.
"I fully appreciate the comments were made in an inappropriate environment and manner and I sincerely apologise to all ESB staff for any hurt caused," he said at the time.