Two schemes relaunched to assist voluntary organisations in their sustainability journey

Last Updated on Friday, 12 April, 2024 at 1:26 pm by Andre Camilleri

The government will be reissuing two schemes to assist voluntary organisations (VOs) in their transition to becoming more sustainable and energy and water-efficient. The two popular schemes are the Energy and Water Efficiency scheme and the PVs for VOs scheme.

The PVs for VOs scheme will provide the voluntary organisations with a PV system and assist the organisation with its installation. The other scheme, which is now in its 4th call, will fund projects that will replace or install equipment in the VO facilities to become more energy and water-efficient.

The schemes are being relaunched through a collaboration between The Energy and Water Agency (EWA) and the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector (MCVS), from which eligible Voluntary Organisations can benefit.

The common goal of such initiatives is to assist these organisations in reducing their energy consumption, subsequently reducing their operating costs and leading to more sustainable practices. Moreover, the reduction in operating costs will lead these entities to divert this investment towards increasing their services in the local community.

Minister for the Environment, Energy and the Regeneration of the Grand Harbour, Miriam Dalli commended the efforts of voluntary organisations, who are doing their part in favour of a sustainable transition. “We do not want anyone to fall behind in the transition towards a more sustainable country, as we all do our part in favour of climate action. We want to ensure that the transition is a fair one. Voluntary associations already faced financial pressure to be able to run their operations and such support schemes help provide the necessary support,” Minister Dalli said.

Minister for Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector Julia Farrugia Portelli explained how voluntary organisations play a crucial role in the country’s environmental transition. “Our country has more than 1,800 voluntary organisations, all of which can be partners for our country to reach its environmental and climate targets by following the path of sustainability. Through these schemes, these organisations will be able to put in place measures and projects that will help them to better conserve water and energy in order not only to protect the environmental element but to invest their money in the best way possible in favour of the Community,” concluded Minister Farrugia Portelli.

The Energy and Water Efficiency Scheme has already assisted over 40 voluntary organisations realising their efficiency projects over the past two years, with more than €1 million worth of funds allocated to the scheme alone. The beneficiaries ranged from sports associations, band clubs, and organisations assisting the vulnerable, with the projects ranging from water reservoirs cleaning and maintenance, the replacement of lighting systems to efficient LED lighting, including floodlighting in sports facilities, replacement of old kitchen equipment and inefficient air-conditioning units, solar water heaters and water heat pumps.

In the first call for the PV for Voluntary Organisations Scheme, over 588 PV panels were installed in 30 different installations, covering 28 Voluntary Organisations.

Successful applicants will be given 12 or 24 PV panels to install at their facilities whilst a grant of either €5,000 or €7,500 will be given depending on the number of panels. This sum will cover the costs of the structure, invertor, installation works and professional advice.

The Energy and Water Efficiency Scheme will open for applications on the 22nd of April, whilst the PV for Voluntary Organisations Scheme will open the following week, on the 29th of April from the Energy and Water Agency’s Website. An information session for both schemes will be held with all interested VOs on the 18th of April.

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