- Scheme to remain open until March 24th and to be expanded to include HSE-funded Section 39 organisations
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister of State, Joe O’Brien TD, have today (24th February 2023) announced funding to support 134 groups with their energy bills.
Under the Community and Voluntary Energy Support Scheme (CVESS), small grants are provided to community groups, development associations, and volunteer-led organisations.
Hundreds of groups have already benefitted under the scheme, which was launched last year in response to the rising cost of energy and the impact it is having on the sector.
Today, a further 134 groups are to receive grants as part of an overall investment of almost €189,000.
Payments will issue to the organisations immediately.
The funding announced today brings the total number of organisations supported under the initiative to 552, with over €705,000 now disbursed.
Among the successful applicants include:
- Clare – Kilrush Amenity Trust: €4,160
- Dublin – Finglas Youth Resource Centre: €2,497
- Cork – Comhaltas Cosanta Gaeltachta Chuil Aodha Teoranta: €2,918
- Roscommon – Enterprise Castlerea: €3,989
- Galway – Galway Rape Crisis Centre: €2,731
Announcing the funding during a visit to Enterprise Castlerea in Roscommon, Minister Humphreys said:
“Although the winter months are behind us, energy bills remain high and this is posing particular challenges for our community and voluntary sector.
“The grants being announced today may be small in nature, but they will give a bit of breathing space for groups that deliver essential services, supports and facilities to communities all over Ireland.
“Today’s investment means that over 550 groups have now been helped under this scheme, which remains open for applications until March 24th.
“I am also pleased to extend the Scheme to Section 39 organisations.
“Our communities depend on these organisations, and it is only right that we do what we can to support them.”
Minister O Brien added:
“I hope the funding announced today, together with the expansion of the scheme will go some way to addressing the current pressures brought by increased energy costs and enable the organisations to get on with providing vital services and supports.
“The inclusion of section 39 organisations will ensure that these organisations are treated on an equal basis as all other organisations in the sector.
“Further tranches of funding will follow shortly. We are also keeping the application process open until March 24th to give all eligible groups in the voluntary and community sector the opportunity to apply for support.”
Expansion to include Section 39 organisations
The Ministers also today confirmed that the scheme will remain open until March 24th and will be expanded to include organisations in receipt of Section 39 funding from the HSE.
This is to ensure that community and voluntary organisations and charities that are part funded by the HSE under Section 39, receive the same levels of support towards energy costs as non-Section 39 organisations.
Such organisations will be able to seek additional funding to meet any shortfall in the top-up funding they receive from the HSE or Department of Health, up to the level that is approved for other community and voluntary organisations, under the CVESS.
The Ministers also confirmed that the scheme is now open to incorporated community and voluntary organisations or charities who have been refused support under the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS), on the grounds that they are engaged in passive trade. Such organisations should apply in the normal way, providing confirmation from the Revenue Commissioners that they are ineligible under TBESS.
Making the announcement today, Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Brien, also confirmed an extension to the scheme deadline, with applications to be accepted until Friday March 24th. All eligible groups around the country are encouraged to apply.
All the information is on the Pobal website and a dedicated helpdesk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This initiative forms part of a range of measures introduced in Budget 2023 to meet higher energy costs for households, businesses and community organisations and it complements the Department’s supports to the community and voluntary sector, promoting sustainable, inclusive and empowered communities across Ireland.
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
Notes to editors:
The Government of Ireland have made an allocation of up to €10 million available to support organisations within the Community and Voluntary sector which fall outside the parameters of other schemes such as, the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) operated by the Revenue Commissioners and sectoral schemes for arts, culture, sports, health and Gaeltacht organisations.
Pobal have been engaged to administer this scheme on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
This Fund is intended to provide once-off financial support towards the increase in energy costs in 2022 for organisations within the community and voluntary sector (as defined under eligible organisations).
Phase One applications are currently being assessed in batches to facilitate timely drawdowns of funding. Further tranches will follow as soon as available.
Phase Two applications will be assessed following the application deadline on 24 March 2023, with announcements expected shortly thereafter.
Note: Full eligibility criteria are available here
Pobal is an organisation that works on behalf of the Government of Ireland and in collaboration with international partners, to support communities and local agencies towards achieving social inclusion and development.
Pobal operates under the aegis of the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Pobal is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. Members of the Board are appointed by Government, on the nomination of the Minister for Rural and Community Development, in line with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards. The company operates on the basis of a framework agreement with the Department of Rural and Community Development and programme-specific service level agreements with individual departments.
Pobal administers programmes on behalf of the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD), Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), the Department of Health (DoH) /HSE and a number of EU bodies.
Pobal works in the areas of social inclusion, early childhood care and education, local and community development, peace and reconciliation, equality, labour market supports, youth services and education and training.