Households facing 240 euro tap tax
Householders are to be hit with an average 240 euro tap tax every year, the Government has announced.
Homes will be allowed to use 30,000 litres of water free of charge, before usage is billed, when meters are installed over the coming year.
There will be a further allowance for "normal" water consumption for every child under the age of 18 in a household.
Environment Minister Phil Hogan said charges would be capped for those with certain medical conditions who need a lot of water.
"The regulator will finalise water charges in August but with these decisions, the conditions attached to the funding of Irish Water regarding the average annual water charge, and the fixing of charges to end of 2016, households now have high visibility in good time, as promised, of the likely level of charges," he said.
Households will start to be billed for water usage in January next year.
There will be no standing charges, although holiday homes and other properties not permanently occupied may be forced to pay a minimum charge.
The tax will be fixed for the first year.
Official estimates suggest that average households in Ireland use 140,000 litres of water a year - based on 2.7 people living in the house.
The Government is also estimating that children use on average 38,000 litres a year.
The Commission for Energy Regulation will formally set the prices in August.
Water pressure will be cut for those who do not pay their bills.