Water charges will be set by the independent regulator, the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), later this year. It will be guided by a government decision on how much 'free' water will be allocated per household or to each individual per home, and how much income Irish Water will need to operate the network.
Average water use per person is 148 litres a day. Charges will apply from October 1 next, and the first bills will land in January 2015, covering the previous three months. That means the first bill will likely cover the 91-day period between October 1 and December 31.
If, for example, there are four people living in a home -- and assuming the 'free' water allocation is 20 litres each -- that means average daily consumption each should be 128 litres, or 512 litres for the household.
The bill for the three months should then apply to 46,592 litres. If it is way in excess of this, it means there's probably a leak. Consumers can also check with neighbours to see how much water they are using.