Press release

New funding secured to combat energy poverty

13th December 2022
Brian Leddin TD
Brian Leddin TD

A new €10 million fund has been created to combat energy poverty, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan announced after meeting the Cabinet today (December 13th). The new funding will become available in the first quarter of 2023.

The new fund, which is aimed primarily at Pay As You Go gas and electricity customers will be available to bolster hardship funds which most suppliers already have in place. People are advised to engage with their suppliers directly or contact the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), St Vincent de Paul or Alone, who can advocate on their behalf to suppliers.

This new fund is in addition to the range of proven actions already being taken across Government to support people in, or at risk of, energy poverty and into 2023. These include the €1.2 billion Electricity Costs Emergency Scheme, the additional lump sum Fuel Allowance Payment of €400, the Reduce Your Use/Stay Warm and Well Communications Campaign and the strengthened consumer protection measures mandated by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU).

Brian Leddin TD, Green Party Spokesperson for Transport, Climate Action and Environment, said;

“This will be an essential safeguard for people at risk of energy debt and crucial assistance during the cold winter months. The fund will be used to significantly bolster the hardship funds which suppliers already have in place for gas and electricity customers. This particular route was chosen because it is the most direct, quickest and easiest way to ensure that people in most need can access financial supports and credits to help with their bills.”

Every effort will be made to ensure that people in financial distress can receive an Additional Needs Payment on the same day or as soon as possible where it is related to electricity and heating expenses.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh, Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection, said;

“The Energy Poverty Action Plan includes a number of significant long-term initiatives to help address the challenges of energy poverty. There will be an injection of €248m in additional funding for the Warmer Homes Scheme to retrofit more lower income homes as a solution to a root cause of energy poverty. These are the kind of green policies that protect the environment and vulnerable members of society.”

In addition, the new Action Plan extends the definition of vulnerable customers to include the financially vulnerable, providing further protections against disconnections, and ensuring that they can avail of the lowest tariffs

Share on