Details of Water Charges for Families with Children

This article relates to Water Charges from 2014.
See here for : The latest information about Water Charges in Ireland from 2018 onwards

Information from 2014:
The  original figures for the metered and unmetered water charges were agreed by the CER back in August 2014 – but after protests and pressure the government revised the charges in Nov 2014.  Water charging began from Jan 2015  – you can see the full details of the revised water charging regime here

How the metered water charges will be calculated for families.
The metered water bills will be made up of 2 components – a water usage charge and a waste water charge.
There is no longer a free household allowance but there is an allowance of 21000 l per child. The water charge is made up of a charge of €1.85 for every 1000 litres of water consumed plus an identical charge of €1.85 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.  If a house has it’s own waste water system or septic tank there will be no charge for waste water.  So – for the majority of Irish households that are connected to both the mains water and the sewage mains – they will be charged €3.70 for every 1000 litres of water used .

The main change made in November is that all metered charges will be capped until 2019 – at €160 for single  adult households and  €260 for households with 2 or more adults. These are the maximum amounts anyone will be billed. It is not a flat rate charge – a household that uses less than the “assessed” amount will be billed less than these maximums.

The table below gives a summary of the average estimated water consumption figures from our research for various sized households. We also show the estimated annual metered water charges that households can expect from Irish Water based on this usage.

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 calculated for families of 2 adults with varying numbers of children under 18. (Eeach child will get a 21000 litre allowance .
Estimated charges for households made up of just adults can be seen here.

Estimated Water Charges (if not capped) for Couples with Children Under 18

People in Household
Low Usage
Estimated Water Charge
Medium Usage
Estimated Water Charge
High Usage
Estimated Water Charge
1 Adult
2 Adults
2 Adults
1 Child
2 Adults
2 Child
2 Adults
3 Child
2 Adults
4 Child

These average  figures show that it will probably be very difficult for most households to keep water usage below the “capped” levels . Based on even the lower usage figures  in the table – the average household with 2 or more adults will end up paying the capped amount of €260 a year.
But –  if they do use less and have a meter they will be billed less.

More information on Assessed Water Bills  Here
In the table above we have shown 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 during the 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 2016 before all the proposed meters are due to be 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 determined by the number of adults in the household . More information on Unmetered Bills Here

If a house has it’s own well and it’s own wastewater system – they will not be billed at all by Irish Water.

See some figures here on various day to day household activities and how much water they can use.