AN POST will be obliged to provide Irish Water with information on personal addresses under new rules signed into law last week.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly (inset) has signed a statutory order that enables the company to verify addresses with the postal company. It will ensure bills sent from next month reaches the correct person.
Approved housing bodies, which provide social housing, will also be obliged to provide information on tenants to Irish Water under the rules. They currently provide about 27,000 units.
A statutory instrument signed into law last Tuesday, March 10, adds An Post and approved housing bodies to a list of so-called 'prescribed persons' that must provide data to the utility on request to verify addresses.
The rules are allowed under the Water Services Act 2013, which sets out Irish Water's statutory powers to request both customers and certain bodies to provide it with information so it can develop its customer database.
Section 26 provides Irish Water with the power to obtain information from third parties including local authorities, the Private Residential Tenancies Board, the Property Services Regulatory Authority, the Local Government Management Agency, Revenue Commissioners and Minister for Social Protection, acting on behalf of the department.
But other agencies can be added to the list of so-called 'prescribed persons' by the minister.
"This statutory instrument allows Irish Water to access certain location data information maintained by An Post," the Department of the Environment said.
"It also allows Irish Water to access data with Approved Housing Bodies with regard to tenants."
Last month, Irish Water launched a campaign for owners of multiple properties, including local authorities, asking them to confirm property details and provide names of tenants in occupied dwellings.
The company is creating a national database of households drawing supplies from the public water network, and discharging into the public mains, as part of efforts to create an accurate billing system.
The most recent figures show that two-thirds of customers have signed up with the utility, or 988,000 households.
A mass demonstration against water charges is due to be held in Dublin this Saturday, with protesters assembling from 1pm across the city before marching to O'Connell Street.