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Thursday 2 October 2014

What if the ESB goes on strike?

Published 15/12/2009 | 05:00

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A STRIKE by ESB workers would cause enormous disruption right across the country because it is still the dominant player in the electricity market.

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But industrial action would not match the chaos caused by the 1991 strike, as there are now other producers and suppliers of electricity.

The opening up of the electricity market has seen a significant level of competition introduced.

The ESB is still a significant presence in the electricity market though.

The company takes up 40pc of the electricity generation market, making it the biggest single producer of power.

The ESB provides electricity directly to 1.6 million domestic users, with 400,000 transferring to Bord Gais and Airtricity.

The company also has 10pc of the largest energy users in business.

The national energy transmission system is operated by Eirgrid -- a separate body to the ESB.

There hasn't been a labour-related electricity power outage since 1991, so the impact of a strike in a post-regulation market is not quite clear.

But safety concerns mean there is no question of the Army filling in for striking ESB workers.

Irish Independent

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