Householders to be charged for drinking water from October 2014
HOUSEHOLDERS will have to pay for their drinking water from October next year, the Department of the Environment has confirmed.
But bills will not be issued until the following January, and not until later this year will families learn how much they will be expected to pay.
Under the original bail-out agreement with the EU/IMF, water charges were due to be introduced from the beginning of next year.
However, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said agreement had been reached with the troika to defer the introduction of charges, which are likely to be around €300 per family a year.
From October next year, Irish Water will begin calculating water bills for households where a meter has been installed. The first bills, backdated to October, will issue in January 2015.
Mr Hogan confirmed that leakages found on private properties would be fixed for free – first revealed in the Irish Independent – and that customers would be given a free allowance. Ability to pay would also be taken into account.
“We intend that households will be provided with a free allowance and that there will be specific supports for those with medical conditions that necessitate a high level of water use and those with affordability issues,” he said.
Irish Water also announced the location of three regional offices from where the water network, including mains and treatment plants, will be controlled.
The offices are in Dublin, Mullingar, Castlebar, Cavan, Donegal, Kilkenny, Limerick and Mallow. Each will employ between 18 and 32 staff.
Irish Water’s website, www.water.ie, will be launched on Friday. Job opportunities in the areas of operations, capital planning and health, safety and quality will be posted as they arise.