The CRU has today published a consultation paper on Irish Water’s proposals regarding Household Water Conservation and the charging method for excessive usage by Irish Water Customers.
With increasing water services demand and greater rainfall variability due to climate change, conserving supplies through reducing demand, eliminating leakages and wastage as far as practicable, and effective management of water and wastewater capacity is becoming increasingly important.
Conservation is one of three key themes and policy objectives set out by the Government Water Services Policy Statement 2018–2025. Greater Household water conservation and an excess usage charge will promote conservation by discouraging excess use, thus ultimately reducing the costs associated with providing domestic water services.
In 2017, legislation was introduced which set a domestic household water allowance of 213,000 litres per year, which is 1.7 times the average amount of water used by a four-person household per year.
The legislation also provided for an “excess use charge” for customers who use water above this threshold to promote conservation and personal responsibility for water use and, where possible, identify and fix leaks in their water supply.
CRU and Irish Water analysis indicates that approximately 7-10% of domestic households currently use in excess of this threshold amount, with the top 10% of households accounting for almost 40% of water services demand.
To address this, Irish Water have produced proposals on Household Water Conservation and the charging method for excessive usage, which includes;
- A €1.85 unit rate charge per 1,000 litres consumed over the annual allowance (charge is per service of water and waste-water)
- A capped charge of €500 for both water and waste-water (€250 for each service)
- A procedure for Irish Water to assess, notify and charge customers
- A procedure for the treatment of metered and unmetered customers
The CRU is now seeking the views of stakeholders on Irish Water’s proposal. The full consultation document and a summary of the Irish Water proposal can be found here.
The CRU consultation on Irish Waters proposal will remain open until 23 April and a final decision will be published in Q2 2019.