Connecting Dublin to the national grid

Electricity in the county before ESB

Dublin had electricity before the establishment of ESB in 1927. ESB’s annual reports record 15 local electricity suppliers in the county — that means 15 individuals or companies who had permits to commercially supply electricity to 3 or more homes and businesses in their local area. The reports do not record when each local supplier was first established, merely the number of consumers they supplied, as well as the year the supplier was acquired by ESB.

Dublin’s 15 local electricity providers were as follows:

  • Artane Industrial School supplied electricity before 1927, serving 1 home or business before being acquired by ESB around 1933—1934.
  • Ashtown Tin Box Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 2 homes and businesses in 1929, before the supply was acquired by ESB around 1932—1933.
  • Dublin Corporation supplied electricity before 1927. It supplied 12,930 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in March 1929.
  • Dublin United Tramways Co. Ltd. was in operation before 1927. The number of homes and businesses is unrecorded, and it was acquired by ESB in March 1929.
  • Dun Laoghaire Urban District Council was in operation before 1927. It supplied 719 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in January 1929.
  • Hammond Lane Foundry Co. Ltd. of 111 Pearse St, Dublin began supplying electricity in 1930, serving 49 homes and businesses. The company changed ownerships to PS Sparling of Buckingham House, Buckingham St, Strand, London, in 1932, and was acquired by ESB around 1932—1933.
  • Mrs Irene C McDowell of Mabel Villa, Finglas, supplied electricity before 1927. She supplied 4 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1930—1931.
  • Kilteragh Development Co. Ltd. supplied electricity in Foxrock before 1927. It supplied 27 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB around 1929—1930.
  • Great Northern Railway Company (Ireland), supplied electricity in Howth and Sutton before ESB, serving 10 homes and businesses. It later changed its name to the Great Northern Railway Co. (Ireland) in 1936, and to Coras Iompair Eireann in 1959. It was acquired by ESB around 1960—1961.
  • We have a record of a local electricity supplier in Lucan, however, the name of the company and the number of homes and businesses it served is unrecorded. It was acquired by ESB around 1937—1938.
  • Pembroke Urban District Council supplied electricity before 1927. It supplied 3,030 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in March 1929.
  • Rathfarnham Manufacturing Co. was in operation before 1927. It supplied 75 homes and businesses in 1929, falling to 8 in 1949, when it was acquired by ESB.
  • Rathmines Urban District Council supplied electricity before 1927. It supplied 3,727 homes and businesses in 1929, and was acquired by ESB in March 1929.
  • Skerries Electricity Works was in operation before 1927. It supplied 212 homes and businesses in 1929, and was later acquired by ESB around 1939—1940.
  • W Flanagan also began to supply electricity in Skerries in 1933, initially serving 313 homes and businesses, rising to 392 by 1939. The supply was acquired by ESB around 1940.

Shannon Scheme: connecting larger towns and villages to the national grid

The Shannon Scheme first began to generate electricity for the national grid in October 1929, and began to supply the larger cities, towns and villages of Ireland. From 1929, 57 towns and villages across Dublin were directly supplied by the Shannon Scheme:

  • Artane, 1935—1936
  • Ashtown , 1932—1933
  • Balbriggan, 1929—1930
  • Baldoyle, February 1931
  • Balgriffin, 1939—1940
  • Ballybrack, 1929—1930
  • Ballydowd, 1937—1938
  • Ballymun, 1947—1948
  • Blackrock, November 1929
  • Blanchardstown, 1934—1935
  • Bluebell, 1939—1940
  • Booterstown, 1929—1930
  • Castleknock, October 1930
  • Chapelizod, November 1930
  • Clondalkin, 1932—1933
  • Clonsilla, 1936—1937
  • Coolock, 1934—1935
  • Dalkey, November 1929
  • Donabate, 1937—1938
  • Dublin City Centre, 1929—1930
  • Dundrum, 1929—1930
  • Dun Laoghaire, 1929
  • Finglas, 1929—1930
  • Firhouse, 1932—1933
  • Foxrock, 1929—1930
  • Howth, May 1930
  • Kill O’Grange, May 1930
  • Killiney, 1929—1930
  • Kilternan, 1952—1953
  • Kimmage, November 1929
  • Knockmaroon, 1937—1938
  • Larkfield, 1929—1930
  • Loughlinstown, 1932—1933
  • Lucan, 1937—1938
  • Lusk, 1932—1933
  • Malahide, 1929—1930
  • Milltown, 1929—1930
  • Palmerstown, 1937—1938
  • Pembroke, 1929—1930
  • Portmarnock, 1936—1937
  • Raheny, January 1931
  • Rathcoole, 1935—1936
  • Rathfarnham, November 1929
  • Rathmines, 1929—1930
  • Rush, 1929—1930
  • Saggart, 1935—1936
  • Santry, 1935—1936
  • Shankill, 1932—1933
  • Skerries, 1934—1935
  • Stepaside, 1939—1940
  • Stillorgan, 1929—1930
  • Sutton, May 1930
  • Swords, 1929—1930
  • Tallaght, 1933—1934
  • Templeogue, 1932—1933
  • Terenure, November 1929
  • The Ranch, 1936—1937

For more information on the connection of these towns, for instance relating to the number of homes and businesses connected, see our connections map here.

Rural Electrification Scheme: connecting rural townlands and villages to the national grid

The Rural Electrification Scheme began in 1946, to bring electricity to Ireland’s rural areas, including smaller villages. During the roll-out of the scheme, Dublin was divided into 11 rural areas. More details on each of these areas is available here.

Generation stations

Since 1927, 5 generating stations have been built in Dublin. Click the links below to read more about each station.

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