Saturday 20 December 2014

Revealed: Details of water charges

Paul Melia Environment Correspondent

Published 31/07/2014 | 12:01

The cost of a single service - water or wastewater - will be €88 for one adult, doubling to €176 for both
The cost of a single service - water or wastewater - will be €88 for one adult, doubling to €176 for both

WATER charges will be capped for families for six months to allow them get used to paying for the water.

The Commission for Energy Regulation has also decided that charges will only apply to consumption by adults, as the Government will fund the cost of providing water for children.

The details are contained in consultation documents published this morning.

They state that each home will pay an ‘assessed’ or average charge which amounts to €176 for a household with one adult, with another €102 levied for every additional person over the age of 18 in the property.

If only one service is needed - for example if a home has a septic tank and does not use a public sewer - the charge is halved.

The cost of a single service - water or wastewater - will be €88 for one adult, doubling to €176 for both. In a two-adult household, the charge rises to €139 and €278 respectively.

For a household with five adults, it’s €292 and €584.

The charges will be capped at this rate until March 2015. After this, homeowners with meters installed will pay based on consumption.

The rate will be €2.44 per1,000 litres for one service, and €4.88 for both.

The CER said: “Customers with water meters installed will have consumption-based charges, but their bill will be capped at the above assessed charges for six months from the meter being installed.

“This means that during this time, if a customer has a meter, his or her charges  will be no higher than the above charges and they may be lower. This measure is designed to ease the transition to consumption-based water charges.”

The CER has also decided that if a premises has a leak, the charge will be capped until the leak is fixed. Those with medical conditions - the details of which have to be decided - will also pay a capped charge.

The CER also says:

* Where water is unfit for human consumption, affected customers will receive a 50pc

discount on the water supply charge for the duration of the restriction.

* There will be no charge on this drinking water if the disruption lasts for longer than three months.

* A minimum charge will be applied to holiday home owners, which is yet to be decided.

Irish Water sought to collect €2.2bn over the next two years to operate the network and upgrade the system. This has been reduced by 8pc by the CER “to ensure that

only efficient costs are recovered from customers”.

This will result in a cut to just over €2bn.

It added: “When the total costs of providing water services are spread across all households this results in an average annual cost of €594 for a household with both supply and wastewater services.”

But it added that Government funding to cover the cost of providing water to children would result in an “average” charge of €238.

“Not all households are the same size, or use water in the same way; some will use more, some less. This means that customers’ bills will vary depending on the number of people in the household and how  much water they actually use.

“The CER will monitor Irish Water’s expenditure to ensure that it delivers value for money.”

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