Dáil Éireann - Volume 238 - 19 February, 1969
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Rural Electrification.
Mrs. Desmond Mrs. Desmond
9. Mrs. Desmond asked the Minister for Transport and Power the extent to which the volume of applications for rural electrification has increased over the past 12 months; what steps have been taken to enable the ESB to deal expeditiously with this work; and when he expects that the present waiting list will be cleared.
Mr. Lalor Mr. Lalor
Mr. Lalor: At the time of the introin  duction of the Electricity (Supply) (Amendment) Bill, 1968 it was estimated that about 26,000 houses would seek connection in the period from 1st April, 1967, to the completion of the rural electrification post development scheme in 1973. Following the reductions in special service charges announced at that time the volume of acceptances of the ESB's terms increased far more than was expected. In the two year period to 31st March, 1969, it is estimated that a total of 16,000 additional houses will have been connected. It is now estimated that in the four year period to 31st March, 1973, a further 35,000 new connections will be required making a total of 51,000 as against the original estimate of 26,000 connections. A contributory factor to this growth in demand has been the large increase in the number of new houses being built in rural areas.
The ESB are doing their utmost to cope with the new situation. This involves increasing annual capital expenditure and training additional personnel. They have increased their budget for rural electrification and also their rate of connection.
In carrying out the rural electrification post development scheme the ESB do not maintain a waiting list as such but canvass the country in a planned sequence of areas.
In spite of the steps being taken by the ESB the progress of the scheme, in terms of areas completed, is now behind schedule. It is expected that the scheme will be completed in most of the country by 1973 but there may be some areas where the completion of the scheme will take longer.
Dáil Éireann 238 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Rural Electrification.