“Ireland’s energy poverty hits an all new low. Energy poverty which is defined as spending more than a tenth of household net income on energy is now affecting 29% of  households, compared to the previously recorded high of 23% in 1994/1995. On an average, these changes are more burdensome for lower income households, rural  households, and those at risk of poverty”

ESRI 2022

A recent study funded by Community Foundation for Ireland and published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) provides key insights around rising energy prices and how that’s affecting households in the Republic of Ireland. Findings from the study suggest that in rapidly increasing numbers, households are facing the choice between putting food on the table, buying back-to-school clothes, or heating their home.

These findings can be seen as having important implications for policy. Equally they potentially have significant effects for grantmakers and funders as decisions become increasingly difficult on how resources can be best allocated. With rising energy prices, the danger of deepening poverty is real and manifests itself at several levels. Energy poverty being an equality issue has significant repercussions on families (especially lower income groups), society, and other marginalised communities across the country. As this crisis unfolds, grantmakers and funders alike, will be faced with making hard choices between the initiatives that equally need their support across a wide range of impact areas including poverty community development, mental health, wellbeing, and children welfare, among others.

“Many of the 5,000 voluntary, community and charitable groups we work with will be looking at this report and no doubt will reflect on it as they make pre-Budget submissions to government. The options assessed by the ESRI need urgent government attention.”

Denise Charlton, CEO of The Community Foundation for Ireland

A few key takeaways from the ESRI report, which will be of real interest to all in the funding space, have been collated below. The complete report can be accessed on the ESRI website.

By Pavithra Ramesh
Impact Research Lead
Philanthropy Ireland