Yes it’s here Christmas is upon us.
For the millions who are heading home, catching up with loved ones and friends and swapping gifts, it is the time of year to take a breather. But for those who make it possible to enjoy the warmth and comfort of our holidays, there is no time off.
Throughout Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day engineers will be working to restore powers to hundreds of thousands of homes as the nation is battered by more storms and high winds. Families will be dependent on those who have no rest, who will work through the night and against the winds and rain to give us the power we so desperately need.
We will expect the power on in our homes to provide the warmth and the energy to cook our dinners, power our games consoles and watch the telly. Traffic lights, railways, roads and airports will expect to function normally to allow us to get around.
Hospitals will expect power to keep thousands alive and to look after millions more. Our emergency services and our communications systems will function as normal.
We will expect our mobiles and tablets to send messages, tweet our views and stream our videos. Many will start online shopping and others will be paying bills, financial transactions will continue and our cash machines will spew out money.
All this we will expect and all this we will receive, when the rest of the nation grinds to a halt. Is this a real Xmas miracle?
No. It’s because we have people working in power stations, control centres, up poles and down in basements, chopping down trees, connecting cables and changing fuses, doing what it takes to keep the power on.
This year the energy sector has been hammered in a way like no other. Vilified and turned into a political battleground. The Big Six and the energy sector as a whole, have had as bad a year as the Bankers did in 2008 and are accused of ‘ripping off’ Britain.
Now I’m not going to sit here and defend some of the things they have been accused of doing. Yes this year power companies have had to pay massive fines, yes the price rises have been extortionate, yes the bosses have huge salaries and yes more could have been done to help the fuel poor.
And yet, here at the time we need it most, the energy sector is delivering as it does 365 days a year. No one is complaining about the engineers working all hours right now or the fact that coal is being burned to keep us warm. No one cares if a bill isn’t as clear as it could be or if we’ve been kept waiting on the phone.
No as the rain pelts the office window and the wind is knocking bins over outside, all I care about this holiday is that I am warm and the power is on. No one today would say our energy system is broken or not working.
Yes it has its problems but let’s be honest it is working. It is delivering.
And it’s a small miracle that very few of us will notice, perhaps just perhaps, we ought to!