Saturday 20 December 2014

What you need to know about the water charges

Published 20/04/2014 | 02:30

On average, each Irish person uses 150 litres of water per day.

Charges will come into effect from October 1, with the first bills being issued from January next year.

No final decision has been made, and it was the cause of a major spat within Government last week. However, what was proposed is an average bill of €248 for a family of two adults and two children.

A single person living alone:

Gets a free allowance of 82 litres a day.

Annual bill of €160, based on using 213 litres a day.

Not metred, assessed bill of €186.60.

Two adults household:

Free allowance of 82 litres.

Annual bill of €248, based on using 316 litres a day.

Terraced homes with no metres will pay €213.

Semi-detached homes will pay €266.

Detatched homes will pay €319.

Two adults and two children household:

Free allowance of 290 litres a day.

Annual bill of €248 based on usage of 524 litres a day.

Terraced homes with no metre will pay €213.

Semi-detached homes will pay €266.

Detatched homes will pay €319.

Under the Water Services Bill, Irish Water does not have the power to end supply if payment is not made. Where a customer fails to pay their charges, Irish Water will have to go to court to enforce payment. But Irish Water can severely restrict water supply to homes which don't pay their charges.

Labour are pushing hard to make allowance for bigger families and those who can't afford to pay, like Social Welfare recipients, but this is likely to be resisted by FG.

It is suggested that the charge above the allowance will be €2.30 per 1,000 litres.

They will be fixed for 2015 and 2016 but it is not clear after that. Much will depend on the cost of running Irish Water and how much of a subsidy the State will give to run it.

Fine Gael wants it, but Labour says no decision has been made. Irish Water wanted a standing charge of 33 per cent of annual bill but that has been rejected. It will be closer to €50 a year.

Sunday Independent

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