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Irish Water says it's expecting 'challenges' as the first bills are sent out

The first quarterly bills will land tomorrow.

Updated at 9.15pm

THE FIRST IRISH Water bills will begin dropping through letterboxes around the country from tomorrow.

The utility confirmed in a statement this morning that customers will start receiving them tomorrow as billing for domestic metering starts.

As part of the government’s massive climb-down on the new charging regime, announced last November, it was confirmed charging and billing would be postponed by three months.

The new capped charging structure started on 1 January. The bills will be sent out between now and June.

The company is expecting to face “challenges” as the process begins, Irish Water’s head of communications Elizabeth Arnett said in a statement – “particularly, for example, when we have incomplete customer information or unregistered customers”.

“In these cases we may not have the right billing details and it’s possible that the details we have may not be 100% correct.”

Some 750 customer service staff, based at Abtran in Cork, will be dealing with customer queries over the next few months.

The company admitted, at the end of last month, that it would be sending out hundreds of thousands of incorrect bills.

Speaking on RTÉ radio, Arnett said the bills were not being sent out on a “willy nilly” basis.

“When it comes from a new database, a new system, we accept that there will be issues with that and it’s part of the teething problems of a new utility.”


The quarterly bills will ignore the government’s €100 water conservation grant, which is available to all householders who register with the utility by 30 June.

“The €100 grant will not be deducted from or appear on your Irish Water bill,” the utility says.

“The water conservation grant will be payable separately through the Department of Social Protection and will be paid in September.

“The Department of Social Protection will be communicating separately with householders from July onwards setting out the grant application and payment process for 2015.”

Here’s what Irish Water says customers will receive, from this week:

  • A bill for water services – bills will be metered or unmetered, depending on whether or not a customer has a meter. Charges will be €40 (or less) for a single adult household and €65 (or less) for a two adult household. Some households with a meter can beat this cap and pay even less.
  • A detailed information booklet to explain the various charges.
  • Details on how they can verify that the information on their bill is accurate.
  • Details of how customers can get in touch with Irish Water if they need to update or amend any billing information.

Again, from the utility:

The first billing period covers 1 January to 31 March.  Bills will be issued quarterly and will be based on the number of days in each quarter.  Each quarter is not identical but the variation is small and customers will not pay more as a result.

Read: “An outrage”: Limerick Council gives tenants’ information to Irish Water

Also: Anti-water charge float banned from Limerick parade

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