A guide to water services in Ireland, the new Excess Use Charge from Irish Water, and how to save on water bills.
Irish Water supplies water connection, supply, and wastewater services in Ireland.
At the moment, domestic customers don’t have to pay charges for Water Supply and Wastewater services if they don’t exceed their Annual Allowance.
However, Irish Water plans to bring in household charges for excess water use during the latter part of 2022 according to the Irish Water Charges Plan.
A date hasn’t been set for the Excess Use Charge yet, but it is thought householders won’t start getting billed until January 2024 at the earliest.
It’s a charge for households that use an excessive amount of water and is being introduced to try and reduce water waste.
Legislation has been put in place, which allows Irish Water to apply Excess Use Charges when a household exceeds the Annual Allowance.
The threshold is set at more than 1.7 the average household amount, so you’ll only have to pay the charge if your household uses more than 213,000 litres (213m³) of water per year. Households with more than four people will have a greater allowance.
|Household size||Annual Allowance||Excess Use charge|
|Up to 4 people||213,000 litres||Over 213 m³|
|5 people||238,000 litres||Over 238 m³|
|6 people||263,000 litres||Over 263 m³|
|More than 6 people||Allow 25,000 litres for every extra person per household|
Households of more than four will have to apply for additional allowance amounts. The process for applying will be included in a future version of the Water Charges Plan
Irish Water proposes to apply a flat rate excess use charge of €1.85 per m³ (1,000 litres) for Water Supply, and the same will apply for Waste Water charges. The Volumetric combined charge will be €3.70 per m³ (1,000 litres).
The maximum annual Excess Use Charges are set out below
|Service||Maximum Charge per year|
This means that no household will ever be charged more than €500 for excess use, and in reality, any charges will be far lower than the maximum charge.
Irish Water will contact unmetered customers if they identify excess use and seek to install a meter. This will enable them to monitor water use and fairly charge for excess use.
Excess Use in unmetered dwellings will be charged the maximum annual metered Excess Use Charge (see table).
If the installation of a meter is not viable, Irish Water will seek to connect a flow monitoring device.
In practice, the first bills for excess water usage probably won’t be issued before 2024. This is because Irish Water has to follow a process that informs and warns the customer before applying charges.
By law Irish Water will have to:
Saving water could help you save money and avoid the Excess Use Charge, and it’s also good for the environment.
Here are some of the best ways to cut your usage:
You can find more tips for saving water on the Irish Water website.
The Plan outlines how Irish Water charges its customers. It has been approved by the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) and details domestic water supply and wastewater charging arrangements from 1st January 2020 to 31st December 2024.
It was last updated in October 2021 and may be updated or amended from time to time.
Cheques should have already been sent out to households that are due a refund. If you’re still waiting for yours you’ll need to contact Irish Water.
It’s a formal notice from Irish Water to boil and cool your tap water before drinking it to make it safe. If a notice is issued in your area, you’ll need to boil and cool your water before using it to drink, wash food, make ice and brush your teeth. You can find out more about boil water notices on Water.ie.
It was a grant to help pay for water saving improvements to your home, for example, fixing water leaks or installing a conservation system. Applications closed in 2015, and the grant was suspended in 2016.
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