Irish Water Meter Readings – How Will it Work ?

Irish Water are gradually installing water meters  for about 1 million properties. There have been protests in some areas but generally the installations seem to be going to plan It will be 2017 before all the planned installations are complete – and there are likely to be about 300,000 properties that are never going to get water meters.

The water meters that are being installed are classed as AMR meters – which stands for Automatic Meter Reading. They have a normal analog meter which has numbers that are visible and can be read manually as with gas or electric meters . But – the new Irish Water meters also have the ability to store meter  readings on a daily basis and transmit that information to mobile drive by meter readers on request.

So – when water charging begins on October 1st we won’t see hundreds of Irish Water vans driving around taking thousands of meter readings.
The reading,  as at midnight on Sept 30th,  will be stored on the electronic comopnent of all the meters – and will be available for “on request”  transmission to the mobile meter readers for several months afterwards .
Likewise – the meter reading at the end of each month will be stored in the same way and can be picked up by a drive-by reader at any time in the following weeks/months.

These AMR meters also have an inbuilt alarm system which will activate silently if water runs continuously through the meter over a 24-hour period (a possible leak)

This means that when the Irish Water do a drive by reading , the alarm will hopefully be detected and Irish Water should alert the householder about a potential leak.

Read more here about
Metered Water Bills – How Much to Expect?
Unmetered Water Bills – How WIll I be Charged?

Irish Water now allowed to use PPS Numbers

Updated Sept 2nd  – The  use of PPS numbers is limited by legislation to certain government departments such as Revenue and Social Protection as well as other bodies such as PTRB , Pensions Board,  (Full List Here)

Changes to the legislation were made in July this year that also  allow Irish Water to request and use the PPS numbers of customers. The main reason for this is so that they can link their billing data to the Child Benefit data held by Social Welfare.  The water charges are going to involve a “free” allowance for each child in a household – and this is seen as the most accurate way of getting details of the numbers of children in each household.
The PPS number of the water charges account holder will also be requested to ensure that the free water allowance is only given once to the same person.

The changes were  contained in the SOCIAL WELFARE AND PENSIONS BILL 2014 – which was published in May and was passed in the Dail and enacted on 17th July 2014.

As far as we can see there were no objections made to this change to the legislation during Dail debates.

When asked in the Dail about the potential dangers of PPS data being misused by Irish Water  – Joan Burton said that  “The Social Welfare Consolidation Act provides that it is an offence to use PPS numbers in a manner not provided for under the Act, and a fine and other penalties are provided for in the case of a person who is convicted of such an offence. It will be a source of valuable information, but that information will be covered by general protection and we are satisfied that it will not be used for any other purpose by Irish Water.”

The first household water bills are due to go out in early 2015 and will cover usage from October to December 2014.
More here about How Much You Can Expect to Pay for Water

Energia Promotional Code

Updated  Sept 1st  2014 :  Energia  have a  promotional code that gets new customers a further 2% off their already cheap gas and electricity unit rates.
The promo code is only valid when you switch to them for dual fuel.  The latest promo code is SAVEME. (Extended to Sept 30th 2014). You can use this  code here on the Energia Online Switching Page

We have calculated that using this code will get the cheapest price for both fuels  for someone using the  national average for gas and electricity. This price is €40 a year cheaper than the latest Bord Gais Energy dual fuel offer  – details of that here

Using the average usage figures of 5300 kw/h  Electricity and 13800 kw/h Gas -  for anyone switching to Energia using the  promotional code – we have calculated that the 1st year total charge for electricity and gas  would be  €1884 .
This is the currently the best price for getting both fuels from a single supplier or for getting gas and electricity from 2 separate suppliers.

 It is a one year contract and like all the suppliers – prices are not fixed for the year. Leaving Energia before the end of the contract will incur a penalty of €50.

You can switch to Energia here

More Discount Codes Here

See Dual Fuel Comparison

See our page  Electricity Prices Compared 

Gas Price Comparison

Energia only began offering gas and electricity to residential customers in Ireland in January 2014. Their introductory offer was, at the time , the lowest available price for customers who switched to them and signed up for dual fuel.  But after just a few days -  Electric Ireland responded with a better offer on Electricity for new customers.

Then we had  the One Big Switch marketing company which  organised  a €80 cashback offer for customers who switched their electricity  to Bord Gais.

The main thing to realise is – that if you are stuck on old ESB/Bord Gais standard rates you can save significant amounts by changing your supplier or even just by switching to paying by Direct Debit and getting eBills.

Electricity and Gas Prices Compared

What are the Cheapest Options For Switching Gas and Electricity ?
September 1st 2014:

Based on “average”  usage  of 13800 Kwh of  Gas and 5300 kwH of Electricity a year – we have calculated the lowest  annual costs from the various providers… (new customers only)

Dual Fuel

Energia  have the lowest price for dual fuel when switching to them as your sole energy  supplier  – both fuels would normally cost  €1920 in the first year for someone using the average amounts.
PROMO:    You can now get an extra 2% off their already low gas and electricity rates if you use the promotional code SAVEME when you switch online at the Energia Website. (Using the code you get 18% off Electricity and 17% off Gas) With the discount code – the annual cost for average usage would be €1884 a year.

You have to pay by direct debit and have online billing. (It is a 1 year contract with a €50 penalty if you leave early) . This promo code now expires September 30th .

This is even cheaper than going with Electric Ireland for electricity and Flogas for Gas – where the annual cost would work out at  €1912 in year one.

The next best dual fuel bundle is from Airtricity – which works out at €1959 a year – and they are currently giving  €30 credit – which works out at  €1929

Bord Gais have just launched a new dual fuel offer of 10% off both gas and electricity for 12 months .  It works out at €2003 for the first year. They do also give you some Tesco Clubcard points (4000) if you sign up for 2 years – and if you remember to use these towards your bills you could end up with a first year total cost of €1923 – but that is still more expensive then the Energia promo deal. (with no need to mess about with Tesco points or vouchers)

See our Electricity Price Comparison

The main message is – if you are have never switched and are still on Electric Ireland’s or Bord Gais’ standard rates – then switching provider can save you significant amounts of money. Even staying with the same supplier and going with payment by direct  debit and electronic billing can get you a reduced price.

Figures  were calculated  to the nearest euro Sept 01 2014  using published tariffs and standing charges on suppliers websites and including VAT, the PSO Levy on Electricity  and Carbon Tax on Gas.
The prices given are for new customers only .

You could obviously save even more money on your electricity bills by saving energy and – such as switching any halogen downlighters to Gu10 LED  Low Energy Bulbs (Savings as much as 90%  compared to Halogen 50 watt!)

Insulating your home can also cut your energy bills – see our article about grants for insulation.