Homes and hospitals will be the last ones left in the dark if there are electricity blackouts this winter.
It follows fears that Ireland could be facing electricity shortages in the coming weeks because of a lack of supply.
However, it has been reported that data centres and large energy users would be the first to go off the national electricity grid in the event of power shortages.
Government sources told the Irish Times that a contingency plan was put in place for this winter, with an effective hierarchy which would prioritise private homes and healthcare settings.
A source said “pretty much everything would have to go wrong” for a situation to occur where homes were faced with power cuts.
Under the proposed hierarchy, large energy users would be the first to be asked to switch to their generators and come off the national grid.
Following large energy users, “non-critical” users would be next to come off the grid, including industries such as cement factories.
The source said hospitals are “at the very back of the queue,” with private homes “close in beside them.”
Ministers on the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change were briefed last week on power cut threats and told that power cuts in the family home could not be ruled out.