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Water charges kick in tomorrow. Find out how much you'll be paying...

The average annual household bill will be €238.

Image: PA Wire

THE COMMISSIONER FOR Energy Regulation has finalised what households will be paying for water from tomorrow.

The annual charges for a household with one adult will be €176 and an extra €102 for every extra person living there for both water supply and wastewater services.

In a notice this morning, it said that customers of Irish Water will have their metered charges capped at an assessed rate for the first nine months of use. This period is three months longer than previously announced.

There were three other key changes to the water charges plan following the public consultation period, during which 345 responses were received.

The CER confirmed that households which are supplied with water that is “unfit for human consumption” will receive a 100% discount. The exemption kicks in 24 hours after the boil notice is put in place.

The document spells out:

“In other words, there will be no water supply charge to customers in this case. This compares with the public consultation where a 50% reduction was proposed for up to three months and a 100% reduction only applied thereafter.”

However, these customers will continue to be charged for their wastewater.

If a customer’s metered water is less than the assessed consumption used in the charge, a rebate will be given to the customer after six months.

The annual minimum charge for a combined water supply and wastewater service at a
non-primary/holiday/summer residence has been reduced from €160 to €125 per annum, or €62.50 per service per annum.

The majority of the Water Charges Plan has not changed from the earlier consultation.

Some key points:

  • The metered rates are €2.44 per thousand litres for one service and €4.88 for both services.
  • A children’s free allowance of 21,000 litres per annum will be available per child.
  • Assessed charges are based on the number of adults in a household. This equates to a charge of €176 for a household with one adult and approximately an extra €102 for every extra adult living in the household, for both water services.
  • If a customer doesn’t have a water meter installed yet, the customer will be on an assessed charge.
  • Customers with water meters installed will have consumption-based charges, but their bill will be capped at the above assessed charges for 9 months.
  • If Irish Water identifies a water leak in a customer’s premises having installed the meter, the customer’s charges will be capped at the assessed charge until the leak is fixed.
  • Customers with medical conditions which require increased water consumption will be capped at the assessed charge if they have a meter installed. Any water consumed above the assessed charge level will be free of charge.

The combined water and wastewater services bill for a household of two adults will be €278 per year.

That is €38 higher than an estimate given by announced by then Environment Minister Phil Hogan earlier this year.

However — speaking this morning, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin denied that the Government had misled taxpayers.

“There was a number of variables involved,” Howlin said. “Our big objective was to ensure that Irish Water remained as a commercial company off-balance sheet — so the income stream had to meet European and CSO statistics for that.

“So until we actually knew the exact number of households and the composition of each household we couldn’t be completely exact but as an estimate it was a very close estimate to the actual charge people will be making.”

A breakdown of the assessed charges which are set until 31 December 2016:

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Read: Sinn Féin say they’d abolish your water charges… But their alternative plan is a little short on detail

PHOTOS: 11 people arrested during an ‘unofficial protest’ over water charges

Minister: Households with undrinkable water could be in line for a bigger discount

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