Metered Water Charges – New Rates From Jan 2015

The  original figures for metered water charges were published back in September by the CER –  but on  November 19th the government announced new  “lower” charges after public pressure . See a summary of the changes announced on Nov 19th

The unit charge of €4.88 has been cut to €3.70 (per 1000 litres)

BUT – One important point that seems to have been kept fairly quiet – was the removal of the household free allowance of 30,000l.
This change means that most metered charges under the new charging rules will be HIGHER than those that were previously in place. The government are helping “cushion the blow” by giving all households a €100 a year “water conservation grant”  – but this can still mean higher net costs in some cases.

An example –A metered couple on low income getting the fuel allowance using 70,000 l of water a year. Under the old rules – this would result in a bill of  €195. After deducting the water support payment of €100 – they would have a net cost of €95.
Under the new rules with no free allowance – the metered bill would be €259 a year , just below the cap. They will be eligible for the €100 conservation grant which brings their net outlay to €159 for the year – €64 more than under the old scheme.

The higher metered charges may not be noticed because All metered  water bills will be capped until January  2019 at €160 for single adult households  and €260 for multiple adult households.
The metered water bills will still 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.

There will be a charge of €1.85 for every 1000 litres of water consumed. There will also be a charge of €1.85 per 1000 litres for waste water services. A total of €3.70 per 1000 litres for both services.
The  free allowance of 21000 litres a year per child is still in place – and it applies to all children under 18. (Even if not getting Child Benefit)

The free allowances are to be awarded without the need for  PPS numbers to be supplied. But no response about occupancy numbers will result in a “default” €260 annual charge.

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 estimated metered 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.  You can compare it to the Original Metered Charges Here

People in Household
Low Usage
Estimated Water Charge
Medium Usage
Estimated Water Charge
High Usage
Estimated Water Charge

From the table above  – it is hard to see many metered household with 2 or more adults getting a bill for less than the capped charge. (€260).

Some very low usage single person households might  end up with bills less than the €160  – but they would have to use less than 118 litres a day (43000 l  a year). Irish Water’s own survey figures show that on average a  single person household uses 171 litres a day – so a reduction of  30% would be needed to “beat the cap”
Children get a free allowance of 21000 litres -only  if the household has completed the “application” from for Irish Water. This free allowance may  also allow some single parent households to get metered bills less than the €160 capped charge.
The cap of €260 for households of 2  or more adults equates to a usage of 70k litres – so if a metered multiple adult household uses less than that they will pay less . Don’t forget – where there are children you can use 21k a year for each child at no charge – so a couple with 2 children would need to use less than 111k litres a year to “beat the cap” and pay less than €260. It’s achieveable – but you would need to be fairly frugal with your water usage.  Irish Water’s own surveys  on average water usage found that  a 4 person household uses on average 131k litres a year . Based on these figures – to cut usage to 111k would require a cut of about 15% for average users. Even then – for the couple with 2 kids – they would have to cut usage further to save any money . A cut to 100k would only save €46 a year. Will anyone bother for such small amounts?

All households will be able to claim €100 a year from the Dept. of Social Protection to help with water charges.  (Water Conservation Grant) . This will be a universal payment , not means tested , but it has to be applied for. More Details Here – but it is not expected to be in place until Sept 2015.

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.

3 thoughts on “Metered Water Charges – New Rates From Jan 2015

  1. In your example of “a couple using just under 90 thousand liters a year” why have you omitted the €100 they get back ?
    For a couple using 90K liters per year after the cap runs out in Jan 2019 I work it out as follows

    90K Liters/year costs 90 x €3.70 = €333 – €100 back = €233

    60K Liters/year costs 60 x €4.88 = €292

    • Thanks Declan
      I have included another more useful scenario to show the possible net increase in cost after these changes.

  2. I have been weekly checking 3 meters in my area since sept. A household with 2 adults, a household with 3 adults and a household with 2 adults and 2 children. Have to say well done, your figures are spot on. The 2 households with adults are falling into the medium usage and I would be one of them. The adults and children are falling into the high usage and don’t have power shower or use hose etc,would have occasional baths, but the kids and parents very good at washing hands to prevent colds and bugs. Looks like good hygiene will be very costly. Keep up the good work

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