Water Charges in 2019

 


What is happening  with Water Charges in 2019 and 2020 ?

The first “excessive usage” water charges were supposed to start around July 2019. But –  this will now be delayed until  at least October 2020 .

History of the Water Charges

  • Water charges were introduced in Ireland back in January 2015 – but they didn’t last very long .
  • After protests and political bargaining –  the Water Charges were eventually suspended in July 2016 for 9 months while an “expert group” looked into what to do next.
  •  In April 2017 – the suspension of charges  was extended until July 2017 so that the recommendations of the “experts” could be considered by the politicians .
  • A third extension of the suspension of water charges until 31st Dec 2017  was put in place in July 2017.

Water Charges were no longer suspended from January 2018.

Although ongoing domestic charges for “normal” use of water have stopped –  any household using  amounts of water over a specified threshold will be charged for water usage that exceeds that threshold. * See below for the threshold figures

The monitoring of people’s usage under the new charging regime began on Jan 1st 2018. (Of course – only homes with water meters can be monitored).

Those households who are identified as using water above the annual threshold will  be notified . They will then be given a six month period during which they can try to  reduce their water usage. If they haven’t done that by the end of the six months they will  then be charged for any usage above the threshold for that six month period and any ongoing usage over the threshold.


Water Charges for excess Usage

Water consumption prior to 30th June 2019 (at the earliest) will never be subject to excess use charges. Therefore Irish Water’s domestic customers will not be liable for water charges until 1st July 2019 at the earliest.
 Irish Water will not issue bills for usage over the Threshold Amount before 1st October 2020, and these bills will cover a period commencing July 1st 2019 at the earliest .

Irish Water plans to start writing to the worst offenders from Autumn 2019 , but won’t bill them until around October 2020 to give householders time to reduce their consumption. If their usage remains above the standard threshold six months after they receive a formal notification, the charges will kick in.


What Is the Excess Water Threshold  Figure ?

The threshold figure was set in legislation in December 2017
It is 213,000 litres per year . That is 583 litres per day per household.

Household water usage figures from the CER,  show that the average water usage  for a four person household in Ireland is 125,000  litres a year  – so the threshold is 1.7 times that.

Based on CER figures – it is estimated that about 7% of metered households  exceed this 213,000 litre threshold and could therefore expect to be asked to pay water charges for usage above the threshold.

It should be pretty difficult for households of less than 3 people to exceed this threshold – unless they are watering a large garden all the time or all bathing a couple of times a day!

To reach the threshold of 213,000 litres a year  – a household of 3 or more people would  probably need to be making daily use of a washing machine, having daily baths or daily use of a power shower and making regular use of a hosepipe or sprinkler and frequent use of water throughout the day. (Or have a leak)


Allowances for Larger Households :

There will be extra water allowances that can be claimed for households with 5 or more people. This extra allowance will be given for each person over and above 4 people.This allowance is 25,000 litres a year per person.

  • So – for example ,
  •  5  person household  gets a   total 238,000 litre threshold
  •  6 person household gets a   total 263,000 litre threshold.

(A person is any adult or child)

The extra allowances will not be automatic – households will need to “claim” it,  but only when they are warned that they are exceeding the basic threshold. (Proof may be required of the number of occupants.)

(Note: About 27% of households in Ireland  have 5 or more people – which is about 218,000 households .)


What Will The Water Charges Be?

The charge per litre is going  to be €3.70 per 1000 litres.
So ,  a household using 50,000 litres of water over the annual threshold would be billed €185 in water charges for the year.
There is a  maximum charge of €500 a year.

The government says that homes will still continue to be metered and meters will still be read at least every quarter so that any home using excessive amounts of water can be identified.
It is not clear how unmetered homes can be charged for any excessive use – because their usage will just not be known. But if an unmetered property is suspected of excessive use – a meter will be installed. If this is not possible then a flow monitoring device will be fitted. If excess usage is found- then they will be charged €500 a year.

 

water conservation grant ireland

Irish Water connection charges are €3929 for a single domestic house.
This covers connection pipes of up 10 metres from the mains.

If the length of the connection pipe is between 10m and 15m – there is an extra charge of €358 per metre.
Anything over that requires a quote from Irish Water.

6 thoughts on “Water Charges in 2019

  1. Did they define what a good per day water usage level is? 583 litres seems a lot – if so whats the point?

    Charging extra service fees for overuse of water without first investing in conservation is perverse and orwellian. Are they providing any investment in water conservation? Like making waterless toilets, rainwater capture and treatment, grey water systems and water circulation systems standard in homes? What about providing grants or discounts on the most water efficient appliances and preventing the sale of washing machines and dishwashers with highly wasteful 3 hour cycles? How about learning how to make efficient appliances like in first world countries like Japan?
    No obviously because if they did things right then Irish water would be redundant.

    Also that installation fee should be outlawed, its a disgrace. Why would i want to pay an extortionate, scandalous fee of €3929 for installation of a meter to measure usage of water supply that should and used to be paid for by motor tax and property tax, and could be prevented with real conservation?

  2. And what leads them to this suspicion? And what makes you think that a protester who has fought off installation already will accept one if under “suspicion”? Or a “flow-monitoring device”?

    Do you really see this happening? I mean really?

  3. I paid some of my early water charges and left others unpaid when the suspensions/ refunds took effect. My water account still shows the unpaid ones and it seems they are still a debt due. Will I have to pay up sometime?

  4. I can get a well dug for 2500 max. How can it cost nearly 4000 for an IW CONNECTION….????

  5. Irish Water are still ignoring the fact that approaching half of the IW users have no meters installed. This means that they cannot be fined for excessive usage. The proposal is to fine excessive users with meters and to ignore excessive users without meters.

    This plan is clearly discriminatory and it will take just one challenge to de-rail it.

    It is clearly farcical to suggest that one section if IW customers will be tied to a quota while another large section will not.

    • Irish Water say that if an unmetered property is suspected of excessive use – a meter will be installed. If this is not possible then a flow monitoring device will be fitted. If excess usage is found- then they will be charged €500 a year.
      How they will find the suspects is not clear .

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