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Just 15pc of meters in by 2014

ONLY 15pc of homes will have water meters installed by 2014.

Last April, Environment Minister Phil Hogan said universal metering would be in place for the introduction of water charges in 2014.

However, that deadline appears to have slipped badly. John Mullins (inset), chief executive of Bord Gais Group, said: "It looks as if it's going to take the best part of two and a half to three years to install meters."

But Bord Gais, which is in charge of Irish Water, has confirmed that only 75pc of homes are likely to have meters by late 2015.

The Energy Regulator will set the flat rate, but based on international charges, consumers could be looking at anything between €100 and €400. It has also emerged only160,000 meters will have been installed by the start of 2014.