Note: This article relates to charges from 2014. For the most recent developments to do with Water Charges in Ireland go here
Info from Nov 2014:
The detail of the Water Charges were all revised by government changes announced in November . See a summary of the amounts you can expect to pay for Water Charges here
There will be no exemptions from the water charge because of disability , medical needs, age or income level.
All residential properties connected to the public mains water system OR the public sewage system will be liable for water charges and will be billed by Irish Water. Occupiers will be liable – that included private and local authority tenants.
The Water Charge will be made up of two parts – a charge for water supply and a charge for wastewater (sewage). The amount of water going into the sewage system will be assumed to be the same as the amount of water consumed in a property.
About 200,000 homes that have a private well or are connected to a privately supplied group water scheme will not be billed by Irish Water for the water supply component of the Water Charge.
Group Water Schemes that are connected to the public water supply network will become customers of Irish Water, having previously been customers of the relevant local authority. Group Water Schemes that have their own water sources will not be customers of Irish Water and will continue to operate as before. (These people are probably already paying for water)
About 500,000 homes in Ireland are not connected to a public sewer – they have their own a septic tank or other on site waste treatment system. These homes will not be billed by Irish Water for the wastewater component of the Water Charge.
So – if someone has a private well AND their own waste water treatment system – they will be exempt from any water charges from Irish Water. (But they will probably be already paying more out in desludging fees and servicing fees and electricity for pumps !)
The occupier of a property will be responsible for paying the new Water Charges. Unless provided with proof of another occupier – Irish Water will assume the owner is the occupier.
It was originally announced in Septemberand confirmed in Budget 2015 that about 400,000 people would get some financial assistance towards their water charge in the form of a new component of the Household Benefits Package. This was going to be €100 a year. This has now been changed – and instead there will be a new “Water Conservation Grant” of €100 a year which every household can apply for. More about this grant here
Medical Needs: Bill Capping
People who have high water usage because of certain medical conditions will have their bills capped at the relevant assessed charge for their household size. For example – the assessed charge on an unmetered two adult household is €260 – so their bill would never be more than €260 – (All bills are capped anyway until 2019) . More about Water Charges and Medical Needs Here
Second Homes / Holiday Homes / Vacant Properties will not be exempt from Water Charges.
It is proposed 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 will apply to both metered and unmetered second homes or vacant properties.
Is it possible to Avoid Water Charges?
Unmetered homes will not be able to avoid paying water charges – they will be billed with a fixed amount based on the number of occupants. See the Fixed Water Charge Amounts here.
It will be possible for some homes with meters who have low water usage to end up paying nothing when the conservation grant of €100 is taken into account.
For example a single person who uses less than 27000 litres will get €100 grant but pay less than €100 in water charges. It might be difficult to stay under the 27,000 litres – but for someone who just has say just a bath once a week and is generally sparing with water it is possible.
Reductions for Poor Water Quality
It has been agreed that if water is not fit for for consumption there will be a 100% discount on just the water supply portion of a customer’s bill. More details on Discounts Here