With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 13 and 14 together.
I understand from the Minister for Education that his Department is considering the question of the feasibility of operating a form of flexible working hours for primary and national schools, though not exclusively in the context of energy saving. I understand from the Minister for the Public Service that a flexible working hours system has been in operation for some time, on a pilot basis, in several Government Departments and Offices located throughout the country. Negotiations are at present taking place with staff interests on the feasibility of introducing similar schemes in other Government Departments.
The Electricity Supply Board are completing a study of the likely demand pattern for electricity during the coming winter and I expect to receive their report shortly. As the Deputy is no doubt aware, the peak demand each day normally occurs from 12 noon to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. due, in the main, to increased domestic load. Although I would not wish to comment in any definitive way until the matter has been further studied in the light of the ESB's report, I think the suggestion that flexible working hours would have a major impact on peak demand is open to question.