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Irish Water's family figures may be wrong

THE Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI )has said the calculations for allocations for free water for children may not be correct.

The Commission for Energy Regulation announced last week that each child would receive an allocation of 21,000 litres per year.

This figure differed greatly from the Department of the Environment's original announcement last May of 38,000 litres per child.


ESRI associate research professor Edgar Morgenroth said he could not agree with the 21,000 litre calculation.

Mr Morgenroth said he cannot stand over Irish Water's data as the sample of metered households used for the research may be unrepresentative.

He added that analysis depends on the type of estates where the meters are installed and the time of day the survey was carried out, and may not have factored in seasonal variations.

He has recommended that Irish Water and the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) "urgently revisit" assumptions on average water consumption.

The CER said that the 38,000 allocation was based on an old report from Britain dating back 10 years. They said that the new listed allowance is based on "actual consumption levels at meters installed by Irish Water".

The CER added that ESRI had reviewed the analysis.

However, Mr Morgenroth said that there is every chance that these calculations were
not accurate.

The average assessed charge for these homes starts at €176 for one person but rises to €584 for a home with five people over the age of 18.

The cost per thousand litres of usage differs between those with and without septic tanks, coming in at €2.44 and €4.88 respectively.


All homes will receive a free allowance of 30,000 litres and a 50pc discount will be given to those whose water is unfit for consumption. There will be no charge on this drinking water if the disruption lasts for longer than three months.

Households can expect the first of the bills to arrive in October. But the CER also said that water bills would be capped for six months from this date.

Customers who subsequently discover they used less than suggested by the assessed charge will be due a rebate.

Irish Water aims to have some 8pc of meters installed by the end of 2016 and said that it expects to collect €2.2bn over the next two years to operate the network.