Tuesday 17 September 2019

Over €5m in unclaimed water charges as 42,000 fail to seek cash back

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Millions of euro worth of water charge refunds remain unclaimed by up to 42,000 customers.

A total of €5.17m is still available to households who paid at least one bill issued by Irish Water prior to the scrapping of the charging regime.

The latest information provided to Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy shows that more than two years after the refund scheme was set up, there is still 4pc of Irish Water customers who have not yet got their money back.

Irish Water have said that amounts to 42,000 customers.

Households may be entitled to refunds of up to €325, depending on the number of adults in the home and how many Irish Water bills they paid.

Irish Water told Ms Murphy the remaining customers needed to contact it to correct "data issues" that were blocking the sending out of refunds.

Reasons why refunds have not issued include instances where the customer has changed address, where the account had been in the name of 'The Occupier' or 'The Owner', or where there had been a change of name on the account.

Other reasons for non-­payment of refunds include customers moving abroad and not providing a forwarding address, and issues relating to rental properties where the tenants have moved on.

Ms Murphy last night said some Irish Water customers who paid bills while the charges were in operation might think it was too late to claim their money back. She encouraged those who had not sought their refund to do so.

Irish Water's head of customer operations Yvonne Harris said that, currently, there was no end date by which customers had to claim their refund.

She said there may be a small percentage of customers who had moved abroad or passed away and who would never seek a refund. But she said the funding allocation was there and would remain available to them or their estate. She said details of how to apply could be obtained at www.water.ie/refunds or call 1850 448 448.

Irish Independent

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