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Saturday 21 October 2017

Dummies guide to... Refunds

Stock picture: James Connolly / PicSell8
Stock picture: James Connolly / PicSell8
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Almost one million households will be entitled to refunds, but it's likely to be several months before you get your money back.

The committee agreed that the Department of Housing should investigate the "most cost-efficient mechanism of adhering to the principle of equity of treatment for those who have paid and have not paid water charges".

One of the big questions facing Housing Minister Simon Coveney is how to factor in the €100 water conservation grant that was paid to many, but not all households.

The water report states the grant should be taken into "consideration" when deciding on how to operate a refund scheme.

It's expected Irish Water will be charged with administering the refunds, but this could add to its overheads.

The utility contracted a private firm, called Abtran, to handle customer queries regarding domestic bills but its work has been scaled down over the past 12 months.

Some of the outstanding questions relating to refunds are:

Around 20pc of customers paid through direct debit - how do you find and identify those who paid in cash through post offices, online, etc?

What about people who moved house? Or those who used to share (do you pay Mary or Maureen the refund?), and what about landlords?

Will the €162.5m be made up to Irish Water?

What about those who took the grant but didn't pay? Do you reclaim it?

Irish Independent

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