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Charges for excess water usage approved by commission

Irish Water in its proposals said it was recommending a range of measures in a bid to reduce household water usage.

HOMEOWNERS WHO USE excess amounts of water could face charges of up to €500 after the Commission for Regulation of Utilities today approved  water conservation proposals from Irish Water. 

Irish Water said it was recommending a range of measures in a bid to reduce household water usage and reduce the costs associated with providing water services. 

They included, a procedure for Irish Water to assess, notify and charge customers for excess usage, as well as introducing a €1.85 charge per 1,000 litres consumed over a household’s annual allowance. 

It was decided that this €1.85 charge would apply to both the household water supply, and separately to the wastewater supply, with a combined cap on charges of €500. 

Following legislation introduced in 2017, households are currently allowed 213,000 litres of water per year, and households with more than four occupants can apply for an extra 25,000 litres per additional occupant. 

Analysis carried out by Irish Water, which formed part of the proposal, showed 80,000 households used in excess of the 213,000 litre allowance. 

Consumers will be given 12 months from the identification of excess usage to address possible leaks and excess usage activity. 

The publication of the Commission’s decision to approve the proposal comes as Irish Water launched a new water conservation campaign. 

A Behaviours and Attitudes survey carried out on behalf of the company found that 52% of the public acknowledge that they waste water, while 25″ believe that they don’t need to conserve water because of the level of rainfall in Ireland. 

Irish Water’s Head of Asset Management, Seán Laffey said: “In 2018 bad storms followed by the prolonged drought really showed people that safe, clean, treated water is not in unlimited supply and that we all have to play a part in conserving it.

“It was really encouraging last summer to see on social media and elsewhere, the conservation measures that people were taking in their homes and businesses.”

“However, when the urgency of a drought passes, it is easy to lose focus on how precious water is. This is despite the fact that the financial and environmental impact of treating and providing drinking water does not decrease as rainfall increases,” he added. 

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