1920s

One year after its creation, ESB established Ireland’s first public relations department in July 1928, and an advertising campaign began on 1 September 1928. Advertising had to be clear and concise, educating the public on the general advantages of electricity for domestic and industrial use. Long before social media, the only guaranteed access into the… Continue Reading


1930s

In Ireland in the 1930s electricity was a marvellous technology and, while available in towns and cities from local suppliers since the turn of the century, its use was limited. ESB had to convince the population at large that electricity was not only perfectly safe but also easy to use and would change their lives… Continue Reading


1940s

When World War Two broke out,  no one believed it would last for very long but as things progressed rationing of all consumer goods was introduced. The biggest problem for Ireland was the fact that the surrounding sea was, literally, a mine-field, and a playground for German U-boats. Imported goods like tea (one ounce had… Continue Reading


1950s

In the 1950s, electricity generation resumed as normal and there was an expansion of the national grid. Seven more peat-burning stations were planned around the country bringing not only more electricity to more homes and businesses but more employment. To raise the funds necessary for this expansion , ESB issued ‘guaranteed stock at 6%’. Our advertising… Continue Reading


1960s

The 1960s was a decade full of optimism. Thousands of Irish people returned home, following the mass emigration from the recession of the late 1950s. Employment figures increased and take-home pay was on the rise. The Rural Electrification Scheme had installed the electricity infrastructure through most of the country bringing more than 300,000 additional rural… Continue Reading


1970s

In Ireland we voted to join the EEC, adopted decimal currency and watched colour television for the first time. The early 1970s saw a continuation of the boom times of the late 1960s. Business and industry were flourishing, rural electrification was virtually complete and oil was cheap. ESB was pushing for a growth in load demand.… Continue Reading


1980s

The 1980s saw such a growth rate in demand that generation and transmission resources were stretched. The arrival of Kinsale gas into Dublin and Cork brought strong competition in the home heating and cooking markets. A new approach to advertising was needed. Advertising in general was becoming more sophisticated and the biggest change was noticeable… Continue Reading


1990s

The beginnings of the 1990s were still lean times economically and unemployment was high.  In the energy world there were worries about oil supplies as the first Gulf War took place and ESB faced a crisis with generating capacity being outstripped by demand. Huge capital investments were considered risky and Demand Side Management was adopted… Continue Reading