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Saturday 25 November 2017

Irish Water to take on 400 billing staff

Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

THE AGENCY responsible for introducing household water charges will today begin the process of filling 400 call centre jobs.

Irish Water, a new division of Bord Gais, has posted an online notice saying the first 100 jobs will be filled by next May.

The contract will be awarded next March. A further 300 jobs will be rolled out over the following 12 months, coinciding with the introduction of a water billing system for households.

The online notice on the government e-tender website asks the private sector to help set up the call centre, which will send bills and handle complaints.

The call centre will handle all queries from householders about their water, including pollution incidents, low pressure and supply cut-offs.

The cost of the contract is not being disclosed as it will be the subject of a bidding process as part of the tender.

Up to 700,000 householders will continue to pay a flat-rate fee when charges are introduced in early 2014 and the first batch of bills is sent out .

This is because work installing meters in more than one million homes will not begin until the autumn of next year -- just four months before the charges are introduced.

It means that, instead of customers paying bills based on usage, most will have to pay based on their estimated usage.

The charge will be based on the size of the house and the number of people living in it.

It means there will be no initial financial gain for households which try to reduce consumption.

The Irish Independent has previously revealed that some 300,000 homeowners, most living in apartments and terraced houses, will have to pay flat-rate charges as it won't be possible to install meters on their properties.

The metering programme is not expected to be completed before the summer of 2016.

Irish Independent

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