Note: This article is related to Water Charges in Ireland back in 2014/2105.
See here for the latest information about Water Charges in Ireland
Most people in Ireland probably haven’t a clue how much water they use. Hardly anyone currently pays for their water – so most people just use as much as they want.
With water charges on the way from January 2015 – (see latest changes here) more people might start to become interested in how much water they use . The fact that bills are to be capped for 3 years may result in many people just carrying on using as much water as they want.
Water Meters will eventually be installed in just over 1 million homes out of the 1.35 million homes that are supplied by the public mains water. Once your home is metered you will (in theory) be able to reduce your water bill by using less water . About 300,000 homes will not get meters – and their charge will be a flat rate “assessed” charges. The charge will be based on occupancy and will not be affected by water usage at all. See the Latest Figures for Water Charges Here
What is the Average Figure for Household Water Consumption?
There don’t seem to be many sources of water usage data in Ireland – that’s probably because no one has had water meters until this year.
The often quoted average figure that gets used all over the place is 150 litres a day or 55000 litres a year. But that doesn’t mean to work out the water consumption of a household that you just multiply that figure by the number of people in a house. Like many things – there are “economies of scale” and 3 people in a house will not use 3 times as much water as 1 person.
We did some checking of water usage statistics in the UK where many households have had water meters for several years.
On our sample – the average usage for a single person medium usage household was 68405 l per year.
With two people in a house the average household usage was 113609 l (which is 56804 per person per year ). With 3 people in a house the average usage was 138115 l (46038 l per person per year )
When metered billing starts – the latest proposed water charge is €3.70 for each 1000 litres with a free allowance of 21,000 for each person under 18. (That rate covers water supply and waster water) It will be half that rate if you have your own waste water treatment.) No more free allowance for adults.
Here are some common places where water is used around the house – and an estimate of how much water is used with each activity. We have used an example of a 3 adult household
Flushing the Toilet: A standard flush = 8l
Flushing 5 times daily will use 16380 l a year.
A household of 3 adults flushing 5 times a day each will use up 43680 l and cost €159.
Washing Machine: Typical water usage for a load is 65 l.
Using a washing machine 4 times every week will use 13520 l a year and cost €48 in water charges.
Dishwasher – typically uses 20l a load but some efficient models can use as little as 10l a load. Running a typical dishwasher once every day will use about 7000 litres of water with a estimated cost of €26.
Washing Dishes by Hand : Washing the equivalent of a full diswasher load by hand can use as much as 49 litres of water Doing this every day would use 18000 litres a year and cost €66.
Showers – are one of the biggest users of water in most homes. Some power showers can operate at a flow rate of 16l per minute – so in 10 minutes you would get through 160 litres. Do that every day – and you would use 58000 litres of water a year which is almost double the free allowance could end up costing €214.
So – based on these type of figures it will be hard for many metered households to end up getting bills that are below the €260 cap.