Electric Ireland has reminded customers who are experiencing financial difficulty about its €2 million Covid Hardship Fund created earlier this year as part of a long-standing partnership with The Society of St. Vincent De Paul (SVP) and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).
Since the launch of the fund in March 2021, more than one quarter of the €2 million funding has already been allocated by Electric Ireland to SVP and MABS clients requiring financial support with their Electric Ireland energy bills, and a further €1.4 million is still available to those in need of assistance. Each applicant is assessed on an individual basis by SVP and MABS and credits to offset energy bills are provided upon application approval.
Marguerite Sayers, Executive Director, Electric Ireland said: “Since the beginning of Covid-19 we have introduced a range of initiatives to help customers who have been impacted financially and are having trouble paying their bills.
As we move toward the Christmas season, we want to take this opportunity to remind our customers about our €2 million Electric Ireland Covid Hardship Fund which is administered by our partners SVP and MABS to those customers who need it most. We are very grateful for their ongoing support in helping us distribute this fund.”
Andy Heffernan, SVP National Secretary said: “Electric Ireland has provided considerable support for SVP over the years for which we are very grateful. They have been a proactive partner in developing responses and protocols for vulnerable customers. We appreciate the establishment of the Covid Hardship Fund by Electric Ireland which has and will continue to bring comfort to their customers who seek our help.
He continued: “The provision of our support is based solely on need and this no doubt will assist many people as they face a winter of increased energy costs.”
Nicola Fox, National Development Officer with MABS Support said of the partnership: “MABS is delighted to partner with Electric Ireland in their efforts, through the Covid Hardship Fund, to help alleviate the financial pressures on some of their customers. MABS staff have worked with Electric Ireland to lend our experience of assessing needs and providing support and advice to people experiencing financial hardship. MABS offices throughout the country have seen the immediate impact the Electric Ireland fund has had for clients and their accounts. This is making such a difference to their lives.”
She added: “I would urge anyone experiencing debt difficulties to contact the MABS National Helpline on 0818 07 2000 or find further information and your local office details at mabs.ie.” MABS is funded and supported by the Citizens Information Board.
Electric Ireland continues to engage with residential customers who experience payment difficulties in line with the voluntary Industry Energy Engage Code and offer fuel poor customers who sign up to the Household Budget Scheme or Industry Solution Prepayment Meter a 5 per cent discount.