Minister Humphreys and Minister Joe O’Brien announce funding to support 180 community and voluntary groups with their energy bills
· Community and Voluntary Energy Support Scheme to support groups in every county with their energy bills
· 180 applicants to benefit from grants under first tranche of scheme
· Further funding to be announced in coming weeks as Ministers urge eligible groups to apply
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have today (Tuesday, 13th December) announced funding to support 180 community and voluntary groups with their energy bills.
The Community and Voluntary Energy Support Scheme (CVESS) was launched last month in response to the rising cost of energy and the impact it is having on the sector.
Under the initiative, small grants are being provided to community groups, development associations, and volunteer-led organisations.
Today, Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Brien published the first tranche of applicants that will benefit from funding.
The scheme remains open for applications until January 20th, 2023 with further tranches of funding set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Minister Humphreys said:
“With Christmas less than a fortnight away, our voluntary and community sector continues to play a crucial role in towns and villages the length and breadth of the country.
“This new scheme is about easing the pressures that our voluntary and community groups face in terms of their energy costs.
“This week, some 180 organisations across the country will receive financial support, with further tranches of funding to be made in the coming weeks.
“The grants may be small in nature, but they will important all the same in helping to pay an electricity bill or keeping a premises warm during this particularly cold period.
“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our volunteers.
“Day in and day out, they give up their free time to support the vulnerable in society and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.”
Echoing these sentiments, Minister of State Joe O’Brien said:
“Community and voluntary organisations play a vital role in our society, and in how we support our people. We recognise that in providing a wealth of services and supports to individuals and to communities, they often operate from multiple sites to meet the needs of people where they are – we understand this and so have adapted the application process to make it easier for such organisations to apply.
“Through my work with this Department, I regularly meet with the community and voluntary sector, listening to the challenges they face and what they need to deliver key services. I am committed to engaging on how we might address these challenges.
“I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues across Government to continue to support the work of the community and voluntary sector.”
This initiative forms part of a range of measures introduced in Budget ‘23 to meet higher energy costs for households, businesses and community organisations.
Also the government is urging householders and businesses to ensure that they are availing of the supports that are in place – and to stay warm and well this winter.
For more information visit www.gov.ie/reduceyouruse