Water Conservation Grant – The Details

A new  annual  “Water Conservation Grant”  was revealed as part of the revised Irish Water Charges that were announced on Nov 19th 2014. This grant application process  seemed to end up a a bit of a fiasco.

Eligibility for the grant depended on Irish Water passing on customer details to the Dept of Social Protection – but it seems that many customers details werenot been passed over – or the name and address details can’t be matched up correctly with the Social Protection details.

The official  closing date for applications for the 2015 Water Conservation Grant was originally 8th October – then it was extended to 22nd October.

Even though the latest deadline has passed – Irish Water have admitted that there are still cases where they have not passed over the details to the Dept of Social Protection. Irish Water say they will be sending the missing details in the “coming weeks” and that anyone who gets a letter from Social Protection after 22nd October can still apply for the grant. We have heard of people applying as late as Nov 16th and still getting the grant.

If everyone who is eligible claims this grant – it could  result in a total payout of around €130 million a year. At the time of the last update to this article – only about 850,000 eligible people had applied – so there is still about €45 million unclaimed.

To be eligible for the water conservation grant,  the rules say that you need to have completed a “valid ” response to the Irish Water registration campaign. by June 30th 2015. You do not need to be a customer of Irish Water – because the grant is also available to people with private wells and/or septic tanks etc.  The “grant” will not be available for second homes.
water conservation grant ireland

The water conservation grant payment will be an annual  flat rate of  €100 a year and will be paid in a lump sum each year directly to bank accounts.  It is planned to run to at least 2018 – then the whole charging structure is up for review.

Payments can be made by cheque to people who don’t have a bank account. The first grant payments went out in mid September 2015.

In April 2015 it was announced that people had to register with Irish Water by a deadline June 30th 2015 to get the grant. If you missed that deadline you will have to wait until 2016 to apply for the grant.

How to Apply for the Water Conservation Grant

All households that had registered their principal private residence with Irish Water by 30 June 2015 should have been sent a letter by the Dept of Social Protection. (It seems that there are many  people who registered but never got one of these letters.) This letter informs people how to apply for the Water Conservation Grant. These letters were sent out between 19 August 2015 and 28th September 2015.   The Dept of the Environment said that all the letters have been issued. (28th Sept) – but information we have seen from Irish Water states that as of 22nd October they were still sending outstanding data to the Dept of Social Protection!) (See above)

If you have recieved one of these letters you can  apply online for the grant at www.watergrant.ie .

You can also apply by  calling the Water Conservation Grant Support Team  on 0761 087 890  or  1890 100 043. See below for another number.  There is no postal application process.
Watch out for the call charges on those 1890 and 0761 numbers – read more here about 1890 call costs and 0761 call costs

Alternative Number : We contacted the Dept of the Environment and pointed out the potentially high call charges on these two numbers.
They told us, eventually,  that people can also call 021-2065880 to contact the Water Conservation Grant support team . (Note – this was on voicemail in early 2016)

The closing date for applications for the 2015 Water Conservation Grant was extended to 22nd October (from 8 October)  – but anyone getting a letter from Social Protection after that date could still apply (according to Irish Water).

Update May 2016 :  If you have any queries in relation to your application or payment of the 2015 Water Conservation Grant you should email the Water Conservation Grant Team at wcgescalation@welfare.ie.

Or write to the Water Conservation Grant Team at the following address: Water Conservation Grant Section, Department of Social Protection, College Road, Sligo.

Requirements : There will be a number unique to your household called the Water Point Reference Number and a  second registration number unique to the person registered with Irish Water. On the letter from Social Protection there will be another number you will require – the TIN  or Transaction Identification Number.  You will also be asked for your PPS number when claiming this water grant. You will need the BIC and IBAN for your bank account. You can check your IBAN here

The first batch of water grant payments started going out  in mid-September. All the grant payments for 2015 were expected to be made by the end of October 2015  – but this date will probably change now that the deadline for applying has moved on. In 2016  is planned to pay the grant  during the first quarter of the year and in each subsequent year of operation of the Grant.

It is likely that many thousands of better off households won’t bother making a claim for this water grant. They will probably see it as too much hassle for the sake of €100.

The Department of Social Protection re  processing the applications and paying out the water conservation grant.  But it is administering the grant on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. The money is coming from the DECL budget.

The government are promoting this  grant  as a payment that can be used towards repairing leaks or other methods of reducing water usage  such as buying water saving products. It was only really  introduced to try and make the water charges appear cheaper without actually lowering the charge. It was an attempt to keep government funding off the Irish Water books so that Irish Water would be treated as a non state company. That failed – the EU saw through it and said that Irish Water’s spending and debts had to be treated as government spending and debts.

89 thoughts on “Water Conservation Grant – The Details

  1. So everyone not just people paying for water? even people have own wells and septic tanks? get the 100 euro??

    you sure this info is correct?


    • All householders can gat the grant on their main home – as long as they returned the Irish Water form to confirm they have their own well etc.

  2. Will this new “Water Conservation Grant” be considered by Revenue as income and therefore be taxable?

  3. How do I download the Water Conservation grant form as I want to supply the details

    • Monica – you can only fill in the form online at http://www.watergrant.ie – just click the big blue APPLY button. You can also call the Water Conservation Grant Support Team on 0761 087 890 or 1890 100 043.

    • I wish to apply for the Water Conservation Grant on line. Unable to find the application form to make the claim. Please assist.

      • Sean – on the watergrant.ie website on the main home page there is a big blue button that says “Apply”

  4. If I fill in the form for the water grant I have to give my bank details for payment. will that give irish water any rights to withdraw from my account at any time

    • Patricia – the bank account details are to be used only by Social Welfare. They cannot be passed to anyone else – not even Irish Water.

  5. I filled in the form properly but it rejects both my IBAN no. and my BIC no. It also rejects my mobile phone no. I have double checked all numbers, even rang my bank to confirm all. At my wits end. Crazy. B

    • You need to telephone the Water Grant Support Team (0761 – 087 890 / 1890 100 043)

  6. I applied for watergrant on the internet on Sunday 13th of September&I got my application no. but still no email to confirm they received my application so what do I do?? Pls help!! :-[

    • Try calling he Water Conservation Grant Support team at 0761 087 890 or 1890 100 043

  7. The deadline for registering for the grant was June 30th ?

    Can you still apply for the grant ? I don’t get it !

    • Luke – the deadline to be eligible for the grant was to have registered with Irish Water by June 30th. The deadline for applying for the grant is Oct 8th 2015
      It is a bit of a mess. !

  8. I registered my elderly mother’s house under my own name with Irish Water and pay her bills. As this is not my princpal residence, I am not eligible for the water conservation grant.
    Anyone know when the condition that the grant would only be avialble for principle residences was first stated ? Was it before the 30 June registration deadline ?

    • The condition about principal residence was mentioned when the grant details first came out.

    • Cathy – as it says in the article … if you have no bank account you can ask them to pay you by cheque. of course you will then have to get the cheque cashed somewhere . A cheque which is crossed with “a/c payee only” must be lodged directly into the bank account of the named payee. However, if a cheque is crossed with ‘not negotiable’ or ‘& co’ it may be endorsed by the payee, which means it can be signed over to the benefit of a third party on the reverse of the cheque. It can then be lodged to the bank account of that third party.

      Why not open a bank account?

  9. if IBAN and BIC are not passed to Irish Water, what about your PPSN – is this passed to Irish Water?

    • David – Irish Water no longer need PPSN. They cannot be sent to them by Social Welfare .

  10. I’ve just bought a house sept 2015. Can I get grant now if just registering with Irish water!?

    • Hi Aiken. The rules are that it is an annual grant and that you had to be registered by June 30th 2015. People such as yourself will not be eligible for the grant until 2016. It’s not really fair is it? In an adeal world they would be able to pay out a partial grant – but maybe that was too complicated and/or too expensive.

  11. I have registered in april 2015 with irish water and i have accountnumber and wprn number with irish water and i paid my first waterbill in june 2015.
    But in july 2015 i was told that i am no customer of irish water and i can’t understand that.
    I never received a second waterbill and i don’t understand that.
    Will I be eligible for my annual watergrant?

    • Barbara – you need to contact Irish Water to see what is happening. If you have bills to proove you registered then you should eb eligible for the grant.

  12. sir,

    please how can l apply for the watter graant , l waas not able to feel the form online .. l was told to produce tin no.. at the form wish l can understand what they mean


    yours faithfully

    Tessy ojoadubu

    • Tessy – the TIN number is a number you should get on a letter from the Dept of Social protection. All the letters have not been sent out yet. If you don’t get one by the end of September you should call the Water Conservation Grant Support Team on 0761 087 890 or 1890 100 043.

  13. I have registered with lrish water on time.They cannot find my stopcock.How can they charge me for my water usage fairly.lt is an unfair system some people use alot more water and are paying alot less.l have asked for a meter to be installed this is a fair system you buy a house the ESB install you a meter .Why did lrish waters put charges on before putting in meters?

  14. i registered with Irish water in June. I have a metre fitted and have an account with county council for the past 15 years. Irish water wrote saying I am not a customers of theirs but I am still entitled to the grant. How is this? And what is the grant money supposed to be used for.

    • Hi Mary – the grant is for any housholder and the idea is that it can be used to help conserve water – ie fix leaks or buy water saving devices. Th governemnt thought up this “grant” as a way of trying to encourage people to accept Irish Water charges – but they have to give it to all householders to try and keep within EU rules. Thay can’t be seen to be just helping Irish Water customers or that would be seen as state aid to Irish Water.

  15. I have tried into the bic to receive the water grant and it will not accept it. It is with AIB Any ideas how to resolve this

  16. Should everyone registered with Irish Water apply for the grant. Are they going to check everyones home for leaks. Will the conservation tips be mandatory? What happens if a householder cant pay to repair leaks?

  17. hi I have tried so many times to get
    conservation grant and I can not seem to get anywhere on there website anyone with this problem.

  18. Having sent in all my details as requested, the sheet of paper was returned with comment “we cannot accept written applications” a website has been set up to make it easy for you to apply for the grant.
    So far so good but the web site, http://www.watergrant.ie, will not accept my details. One must therefore telephone. WHY OH WHY cannot the nerds who produce these “help” ideas make certain that they work before releasing them on the public and wasting their own time and also that of the great unwashed public.

    • Hi Janice – a PPS number is required whenever you are dealing with the dept of social protection or with other government bodies to claim grants or welfare. They are not allowed to pass it to anyone else.

  19. I am trying to apply for the water conservation grant and it will not accept my BIC number. I have tried it a few times and will not accept it. It is a BOI account.

    • A few people have reported problems with validating accounts on the water conservation grant website. Make sure you leave out any spaces first. If it still doesn’t work try ringing them on 0761 087 890 or 1890 100 043.

    • I have also tried to register for the grant but cannot complete the application. It is telling me my IBAN is not valid for the country selected and the IBAN is not valid. This is an AIB account and the details are correct according to my bank statement.

    • Do not include the ‘spaces’ between the numbers etc… All the numbers must be together one after the other.

  20. Hi
    I am trying to contact the water conservation grant support team by phone but it blocks the number as I am phoning from the UK.
    What is the number I need to use. I have tried 00353 761087890 and also 1890100043. Wouldn’t be helpful to have the UK dialling number for those from Northern Ireland and the UK in the letter you send out.

    • Hi Jeff. This site is nothing to do with teh water grant itself – we are just a website providing information about it. (We didn’t send out letters)
      You make a valid point – that 0761 number is actually a Voice over IP number – and it looks like it only works within Ireland.

      Try emailing them at wcg@environ.ie .

      If you live in the UK – you will not be eligible for the grant anyway because it is for principal residences only.

  21. If you claim the grant will the state/council/Irish Water etc have rights to check your water ? As in if you have your own well and have sent the letter off on time stating you are not a customer of Irish Water. Or are there any other strings attached. Is it a one off grant or do you get the €100 every year up until 2018 if you registered /sent back the form at the correct time. Thanks in advance

    • Claiming the grant does not give anybody any extra rights to check your water. Irish Water probably already have the right to look into people’s water supply and who is connected or not. ( I assume you mean can they check someone is a customer when they have declared they are not?)

      The grant is due to be paid in 2016 and 2017 again. It will probably require a fresh claim each year because people will have moved house etc.

      • Thanks for your reply. I’m on the mains so I am registered and pay. My friend has his own well -he filled out the form and informed them of this. He was just wondering if he does apply for the grant would it give Irish Water or any other official bodies to enter his property and take water samples with or without his permission. He is reluctant to claim the grant( even though he is entitled to it) in case any of the above would arise. Appreciate you helping to make things clearer-I have been on the IW website but thought it said the grant was a one off.

      • Private wells are not regulated and no one will want to cjeck them unless the owner asks them to. It would be advisable for your friend to get their well water checked regularly – it might not be safe to drink. Maybe the grant money could go towards paying for an annual check?

  22. I have not registered as a customer of Irish Water, though have received a bill from them, which remains unpaid. Am I correct in saying that I too qualify for the grant, as its coming from the dept of social protection? Tia

    • To be eligibe for this grant – one of the criteria set by the Dept of the Environment is that claimants had to have registered with Irish Water by June 30th 2015. Anyone registering after that date will only be able to claim the grant from 2016 onwards. Th emoney is paid by Dept of Environment but SocialProtection are administering the claims.

  23. Dear money guide
    I had registered with Irish Water in April 2015 and I paid my first waterbill in June 2015 and I have proof of that. Irish Water is changing always their mind several times that I am a customer of them and then again I am not and then I am a customer again and I don’t understand that at all. I have several times contacted them and most times they ignore me which I also don’t understand. I had my TD put on that case and they told him as well that I didn’t register with them before 30. June 2015 and also said to him that I am only eligible to apply next year for the watergrant because he told me. I emailed then Irish water I told them that they messed up and I will not pay €160 (normally I pay €60 when I had the Watergrant of €100) and they can suing me because I have proof that I have registered and had paid my first waterbill in June 2015. Then after 2 months I finally got a phonecall of the manager operations he apologized said this confused himself and said sorry for the mess caused and he said of course I am eligible for watergrant. They are nuts !!! Problem for me is I never received a letter from department of social protection about the unique personel numbers and I can’t therefore apply for the watergrant.
    What is your advice for me, what should I do I mean Irish Water destroyed that for me.

    • I don’t know the full details of your case – but having paid a water bill is not proof of registration. Irish Water sent thousands of bill to people who never registered. They got their names and addresses from revenue (mostly) . What proof of registration do you have?

      • Dear Money Guide
        You are the proffessionels you should know what to do for me next not answering my question with another question I asked you for advice. What can I do to get my annual watergrant for 2015 now that I only have time till the 08.October 2015. Can you give me a good advice ??? Please help me thanks.

      • Do you have proof of when you registered with Irish Water ? If you haven’t then I can’t see how you will be able to get the grant.

  24. I have tried to apply for the grant but the system won’t accept my Registration Number, saying it is “not the right format”. I’ve typed it EXACTLY as on the Registration Certificate I got from Irish Water. (I’m not a Customer as I my water comes from a private well.)

    With the deadline looming, any help much appreciated.

    Hoping there won’t be any other problems once I get past this field !!


    • Patricia – maybe try contacting Irish Water to double check this registration number.?

    • Eileen – I suppose you can. You will need to ring the water conservation grant team and just tell them you want a cheque. You may need to do the whole application over the phone . I hopeit doesn’t take too long because it could end up costing you a bit especially from some mobile networks. Might be simpler just to get it into your bank ?

  25. Good evening.
    I have not paid for water charges.
    But I hope you can help me.
    If I apply for water grant ie water conservation/ social welfare services and get payment will I have pay for water charges as I have registered for water grant.
    Please advise.
    Many thanks


    • Barry – at the moment claiming the grant is not linked to payment of the water charges – but the rules could change next year. They will pay the grant this year to people who have paid no water charges.
      The thing is – if you don’t pay the water charge there will be late payment penalties on top and they may eventually resort to court action to get the money.
      Hope this helps..

    • It look like people just have to wait for the €100 to show up in their bank account.

  26. I reg in Sept.2014 but not a customer of irish water as on group scheme,I got nothing back and today 8/10/15 have spent 1hour 35min on phone to say they do not have me,,so now I am the loser of £100 as result,like when we lose santa

  27. I have not payed my water charges yet if I pay the full amount by the next bill will I have to pay interest

    • Thomas – there are no interst charges or late payement fees until you are more than 1 year late.

  28. ok so I apply at 25th of september for get back this 100 euro for water conserwation grant and today is 8th of october and till I didnt get any monay…
    my friend apply for that at 28 of september and he got already monay.. so when I will get that ?

    • Maybe wait a few more days and if it hasn’t arrived by 14th Oct you should call them on 021-2065880

  29. Hi
    I registered well before june and have paid both bills , But have not recived the 100 euro.
    When will this arrive.
    kind regards stan

    • stanley – you should have had a letter from Social Welfare “inviting” you to apply for the grant. Thi sletter has a Transaction Id which you will need to apply.If you didn’t get this letter you need to contact the Water conservation Grant team at Social Welfare on 021-2065880

  30. If the PPS no. is given to avail of the grant what is stopping this information being passed on to Irish Water. Or at least the Government has the information tying your PPS no. to the Irish Water acc.

    Why can we not receive the grant without giving the PPS no.
    After all the application letter came from social welfare who knows my PPS no. and my water account details so what is the point in applying for it? it is like as though they are looking for my consent to match up my PPS no. with the Irish Water acc.

    • Social welfare use the PPS to identify people . They have to identify who they pay and they can’t rely on a name and address as being unique to 1 person. Irish Water’s database seems to be in a bit of a mess anyway.
      If they do (why would they) pass on the PPS to anyone they will be breaking the law.

  31. Hi.
    I registered per form with irish water in april 2015. Then I have been getting phonecalls of irish water saying i am a customer of them and that i registered with them before 30.june 2015 and that i am eligible for watergrant. But then i have been told in a letter of irish water that i am again not a customer of them. Then again i be told that i am a customer because the called me again on my phone. So it is an on and off. I have paid my first. waterbill in june 2015 as well. In the last phonecall of irish water they say again i am customer and i should wait for my letter that social department. .. of protection will send out to me and i. .waited until the 5.october 2015 but i never received that letter. Then i wrote a letter to thesocial department of protection and i said to them that i had registered before the 30.june 2015 with irish water but i never got my letter from them and i asked them for the reason and i asked them to send me out my letter but today is the 16.october 2015 and i still didn’t get my letter of them. I don’t know what else to do can you give me advice please. I am on disability allowance because i have an bone illness wouldn’t i be eligible alone for that reason as my only income is the disability allowance ???

  32. Irish water say I didnt register with them before 15th June. I am not liable for payment as I have well + septic tank. However i remember Haying €5 to some one a few years ago to register my septic tank.(Irish water have no record of this)
    Does this not qualify. It was probably with the local authority , but Irish Water have taken over this function from Local Authorities in any case.
    What do you think?

    • Septic Tank registration was with the Dept of the Environment. The Irish Water registration is completely separate to that. You can still register with Irish Water – so you can get the grant next year.

  33. I am moving into my first home shortly. I have not previously been the head of a household. As such I have never been registered with Irish water. Obviously I have missed the qualification date for the grant. Does this mean I will never be eligible for the grant even though it will be paid to others until at least 2018? My reason for not registering was not that I didn’t want to pay, my reason was that I not responsible for a residence at the time.

  34. Hi, am I the only living person in Eire still waiting on the 100 grant? I am all signed up, have ref number and everything, fully eligible etc and still nothing in bank account! Anyone?

      • Hi shane – most of teh payments have been made by now. You should contact the water grant team .

  35. I havent received my water grant yet, getting worried now. I have ref number and email from them to say my application went through ok. Should i be worried?

  36. Hi
    I registered and received my letter from the Dept of social protection but forgot to apply for grant, I have only discovered today that I am too late and the girl on the helpline wasn’t very helpful and basically told me that it was my tough luck. Have I any hope of being able to access that grant at this stage? I have my TIN and my WPRN, can I email in?
    Any advice welcome.
    Don Golden

    • Hi Don
      Same happened me. I have not been in the country for the past while and missed the deadline and the deadline extension. I rang to day to apply and had a similar experience on the helpline and was given no advice only “sorry that’s a pity”. I’ve paid all my water bills to date, I was hoping that would be taken into account but it wasn’t. If you find out a way of getting it please let me know!

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