Until homes have water meters installed – their water charges will be a flat rate based on the number of adults in the household. See Unmetered Charges Here .
After meters are installed – bills will be capped at these assessed rates until 2018. In theory it will be possible to “beat the cap” and pay less than the capped rate – for example a single person using less than 43000 litres a year will be charged less than the €160 “assessed rate”. There is no longer a free houshold allowance of 30,000 litres – so it will never be possible to avoid a bill.
There is some good news for the 500,000 or so people who are due to get meters installed at some time in the next 2 years.
There is a Rebate scheme that will be put in place – which will automatically refund people who end up paying more on the unmetered charge than they do on a meter. There are a few terms and conditions – such as :
a) Prior to having a meter you must have been paying unmetered charges for a minimum of 3 months.
b) You need to have been on metered billing for at least the last 12 months
c) You must have confirmed yout occupancy details to Irish Water before charging began.
Irish Water say they will apply any entitled rebate automatically as a once off credit from April 2016 .
There is no need to apply and no minimum rebate. (according to the regulator)
For example if a couple paid the unmetered flat rate charge of €260 for a year – then they go onto metered billing in Jan 2016
That unmetered charge was based on “assessed” usage of 70,000 litres a year.
If , after 12 months on a meter , their average annual usage actually works out at 50,000 – then they will be entitled to a rebate equivalent to 20,000 litres for the year .
In this example – an annual metered bill for 50,000 would be €185 – so the rebate would be €75.
They should get this rebate on the first bill after the 12 months period expires. (So that would be in April/May 2017).