The Commissioner for Energy Regulation has finalised what households will pay for their water and waste water usage under the new charge system which came in to effect this week.

The occupier of a property that gets water and/or wastewater services from Irish Water will be liable to pay domestic water charges under the new system. If you own a property, you will be presumed to be the occupier, unless it is proven otherwise. Owners of more than one dwelling will have to pay water charges for each dwelling.

If your water comes from a private well or a group water scheme and you have a private wastewater treatment system (such as a septic tank) you will not be regarded as a customer of Irish Water and will not have to pay the new domestic water charges.  If you only avail of one of these services then your charges will be halved.

Irish Water has started writing to every household from 1 September 2014 to gather information on household type, number of occupants and type of water/wastewater system, to identify what services the household has and what allowances to apply in each case.

There are two types of customer – those with meters who will pay for the water they use and those without meters who will pay an assessed charge. Metered customers will be charged €2.44/€4.88 per 1,000 litres, but charges will be capped at the unmetered rate for the first nine months of use.

Those without meters will pay an annual rate of €176 for a household with one adult – or €278 for a home with two adults.

Children will be given a free allowance of 21,000 litres, which will be monitored on a quarterly basis and adjusted.

Some key points:

  • The metered rates are €2.44 per thousand litres for one service and €4.88 for both services (i.e water and wastewater).
  • A children’s free allowance of 21,000 litres per annum will be available per child.
  • Assessed charges are based on the number of adults in a household. This equates to a charge of €176 for a household with one adult and approximately an extra €102 for every extra adult living in the household, for both water services.
  • If a customer doesn’t have a water meter installed yet, the customer will be on an assessed charge.
  • Customers with water meters installed will have consumption-based charges, but their bill will be capped at the above assessed charges for 9 months.
  • If Irish Water identifies a water leak in a customer’s premises having installed the meter, the customer’s charges will be capped at the assessed charge until the leak is fixed.
  • Customers with medical conditions which require increased water consumption will be capped at the assessed charge if they have a meter installed. Any water consumed above the assessed charge level will be free of charge.
  • Householders who fail to register with Irish Water face a €424 annual water charge.
  • The annual minimum charge for a combined water supply and wastewater service at a non-primary/holiday/summer residence is €125 per annum, or €62.50 per service per annum.
  • Customers who live in areas where the water is unfit for human consumption will not pay any water supply charge, once a boil water notice has been in place for at least 24 hours.  However, they will continue to be charged for waste water services.