UPDATE: These are the figures for Water Charges as they were originally set up in Sept 2014. New rules and rates were announced on Nov 19th : see the Latest information on Water Charges Here
The final figures for the metered and unmetered water charges were published by the CER in late September 2014 – and we can now make accurate estimates of how much the metered water bills will be.
It is important to note that it is also confirmed that all metered household water bills will be capped for the first 9 months at the “assessed charge” based on the number of adults in the house. So no one on a meter will pay more than the assessed charge until the bill due out in Oct 2015. You will pay less if you use less during the 9 month “cap”.
How the metered water charges will be calculated.
The metered water bills will be made up of 2 components – a water usage charge and a waste water charge. . If a house has it’s own waste water system or septic tank there will be no charge for waste water. There will be no Standing Charge.
The first 30,000 litres a year per household will not be charged for – but after that there will be a charge of €2.44 for every 1000 litres of water consumed. There will also be an identical charge of €2.44 per 1000 litres for waste water services.
Wastewater output will not be measured – it will be assumed to be the same volume as the water consumption. So – for the majority of Irish households that are connected to both the mains water and the sewage mains – they will be charged €4.88 for every 1000 litres of water used over and above 30,000 litres. A free allowance of 21000 litres a year per child is also proposed.
The free allowances are only granted if one adult PPS number is supplied and all the children’s PPS numbers are supplied. Non disclosure of PPSNs will result in no free allowances and households will be charged for every litre used.
There are no useful accurate figures available (yet) on household water usage in Ireland – but we have done some research into water usage figures in the UK – and it is a fair assumption that water usage here in Ireland will be broadly similar to the UK. We have worked out the averages from figures obtained from 4 large UK water companies. (The household sizes from the UK are not split into adults and children)
The table below gives a summary of the average water consumption figures from our research for various sized UK households. We also show the estimated annual metered water charges that households can expect from Irish Water based on this usage. The figures show that a high usage mmetered household of 3 adults could end up paying as much as €706 a year – but reducing usage to a “low” level could save them about €400 a year.
The estimated water charge figures shown below are the total expected for a combined bill for both water and wastewater.
In the table below – the usage is litres per year and the charges are based on all occupants being 18 or over. (Just the 30000 l free household allowance is used in the calculation)
|People in Household||
€ Estimated Water Charge
€ Estimated Water Charge
€ Estimated Water Charge
Free Allowance for Children :
The government originally said there would be a free allowance for children of “upto” 38000 litres a year. They said that the allowance would be enough to cover the “normal water consumption of a child“. Irish Water have been monitoring water usage of some of the metered households with and without children in order to work out how much water the “average” child uses. The CER now say that it looks like the “normal” water consumption of a child is 21000 litres. So – now 21,000 litres will be the free allowance for each child under 18. See our worked out estimates for families with all children under 18 here
Second Homes / Holiday Homes
It has been decided that properties identified as Non-principal private residences (such as holiday homes) will be billed a minimum charge by Irish Water of €125 a year. This amount is for homes connected to both mains water and mains sewage. The minimum charge will be halved to €62.50 a year if the home has it’s own waste water treatment.This minimum charge applies to both metered and unmetered second homes.
In the table above we have shown estimated figures for Low, Medium and High water usage households – for your information these general classifications are ….
Low Usage Households : would make occasional use of a washing machine,Take shower in preference to bath (but not power showers), Mostly absent from house duringdaytime on week days)
Medium Usage Households: would use washing machine most days,Shower most days with occasional baths. Use dishwasher most days.
High Usage Households: would make daily use of a washing machine, daily baths or daily use of a power shower.Regular use of a hosepipe or sprinkler and frequent use of water throughout the day.
Unmetered Water Bills
When billing starts – the majority of homes will not have water meters. It will be at least 2016 before all the proposed meters are installed and there will be about 300,000 homes where meters willl never be installed. These unmetered homes will have water bills based on an “assesed” charge which will basically be a flat rate annual charge based on the number of adults in the household . More information on Unmetered Bills Here
Note: All figures shown here assume that a household gets a water supply from Irish Water and is also connected to a the mains sewage system . If a house has it’s own well and it’s own wastewater system – they will not be billed at all by Irish Water.
Govt funding for Irish Water is fixed until 2016 – so all the charges could change again in 2016 if funding is reduced.
Back in May this year – government ministers were saying that figure for water usage by an average single adult household was 78,000 l per year. If this is the case – then the metered charge for this “average” single person who is also connected to the mains sewer will be €234 . If that “average” single person household has their own waste water treatment system / septic tank – then their metered water bill will be half that (€117) a year.
The government also said in May that an average two person household uses 115000 litres of water a year. A couple , with a meter ,using this expected average of 115000 litres will be charged €415 or (€208 if they treat their own waste water)
It is important to note that it is proposed that all metered household water bills will be capped for the first 9 months at the “assessed charge” based on the number of adults in the house.
(More about Assessed Unmetered Bills Here)
See some figures here on various activities and how much water they can use http://www.moneyguideireland.com/water-charges-some-more-meaningful-figures.html
We had a go at estimating how much the Metered Water Charges might be back in May 2014 – you can see those estimates here. Based on the latest figures published in August the Water Charges will be significantly higher than we initially estimated. Our first estimates were based on misleading information given by Minister Hogan back in May when speaking on RTE( 21 mins in). He stated that a single person household on a metered charge using 78,000 litres would be charged €138 a year. He seems to have neglected to mention that this was just the water usage charge and that there would be a corresponding charge for waste water for the majority of people. (Or maybe he was just wrong). Based on the proposed figures – using 78000 litres will cost a single person about €234 a year.