EirGrid engineers brace themselves for Christmas Day 2019

23 December 2019

EirGrid engineers are bracing themselves for Christmas Day, which in terms of the power system is most unusual when compared with any other day in the year.

Teams of engineers, working in shifts throughout the day, will run EirGrid’s national control centre in Dublin on Christmas Day. The centre manages the country’s electricity system, matching electricity generation to customer demand on a minute-by-minute and hour-by-hour basis, 365 days of the year.

However, electricity usage on Christmas Day is radically different to any other day of the year, presenting challenges for the control centre engineers.

EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley explains: “Electricity consumption is normally very predictable, which is of enormous benefit to us as it allows us to predict accurately when demand will peak and fall.

"It is disruptive for our staff, but they will all be able to enjoy part of the Christmas festivities with their families"

“Normally, in December we know that demand will typically peak just after 6.00pm and we make sure there is adequate electricity available for consumers and industry alike. That will not be the case on Christmas Day, so we will be on our toes to make sure there are no issues.”

On December 25th 2018, demand peaked at 1.30pm as people throughout the country switched on their ovens to cook their favourite Christmas dish, whether it be turkey, goose or whatever dish creates that special occasion with family and friends.

EirGrid’s engineers will work three eight-hour shifts on Christmas Day.

“It is disruptive for our staff, but it is part of our public duty and those staff will all be able to enjoy part of the Christmas festivities with their families,” added Mr Foley.