Figures for Irish Water Charges

UPDATE:  These are the figures for Water Charges as they were originally set up in Sept 2014.
New rules will be in force in 2018  :    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”.

(Details of assessed water charges for unmetered homes here)

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
Low Usage
Estimated Water Charge
Medium Usage
Estimated Water Charge
High Usage
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


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.

5 thoughts on “Figures for Irish Water Charges

  1. Its disgraceful what there getting away with disgraceful all this s based on what they have n there pockets which s a hell of a lot more than what we have and they wud feel DA same if they were on low income of 188 a week

  2. I would like to say there is no system that gives 100% efficiency.That is if you give in 1000ltrs of water into a house you will get a 1000 liters return?. The water used in the garden will not return to wastage,it will feed my plants. The water I drink will be used to make blood etc. How do you expect to double charge for water on your assumption it will come back in waste.If I WASH my car where there is no drainage like on my garden what then?

  3. My calculations on tax relief of the E500 figure which has been stated as easily passed would incur the use of in excess of 130000L of water How few households would reach this figure.So much for the Feel Good idea of Tax Relief

  4. I live in the United States. I am always looking at Ireland as I am Irish. I cannot believe how much the citizens of Ireland are being charged for water and waste disposal. We are not charged this much in the US. Here water and waste are a necessity. It is not considered a luxury as it appears Irish authorities portrait is as. I don’t understand how they think the citizens of Ireland expect to pay such high costs for water and waste disposal. I thought many times of moving to Ireland, but after reviewing the cost of water and waste and other things I don’t think I will ever relocate my home to Ireland. It’s a shame because I had looked forward to it. I have family in Ireland and they have talked to me numerous times telling me to remain in the US because of Ireland economy. For such a beautiful country, I do not understand why things have to cost so much. It deters folks from traveling or even relocating to Ireland to make it their permanent home.

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