When most people mention Irish Water and Water Charges – they probably assume they are just going to be charged for the water they drink and use to wash etc. All the stats and figures just mention water consumption and of course the water meters measure the volume of water going into a house.
But – Irish Water , as well as supplying water to most homes , is also responsible for dealing with all the waste water that comes out of those homes.
So – the Irish Water bills – when they arrive – will include both a charge for the supply of water and a separate amount for wastewater charges (sewage).
We have to assume that the average figure of €240 a year given by the government is the figure for the combined charges for supply and waste. (But maybe they forgot to include the waste water charges).
They won’t be measuring the amount of stuff going into the sewers before they charge for it – they will just assume that the waste coming out equals the volume of water coming in.
Of course – there will be about 500,000 homes that will not be billed at all for wastewater because they have their own wastewater treatment system or septic tank.
These homes – as long as they get a mains water supply – will only get a bill for water supply. Based on UK figures – the typical split on water bills for supply and sewage is 45% and 55%. If it turns out to be the same here in Ireland it will mean an average SUPPLY ONLY annual bill of about €108 in 2015 (If the average bill for water and sewage is €240 as we have been promised by the government).
Those septic tanks needed registering though – and that might be a requirement to get the bill reduction?
There are also about 200,000 homes who have their own well or who already pay for their water from a group scheme. These homes will not be billed by Irish Water for the supply of water.The majority of these 200,000 homes are likely to be rural and have their own waste treatment sysstem too. If that is the case – they will not be customers of Irish Water at all.
We think that Irish Water don’t know yet exactly who their customers are – so that is going to require a big form filling exercise in the next few months.
The exact pricing details won’t be known until August when CER (Commission for Energy Regulation) publish their views – but we have had a go at estimating the water charges here.