Following the recent government measures regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Irish Water, have agreed to approve Irish Water’s proposals to defer the implementation of the new non-domestic tariff framework for business customers.
In July 2019, the CRU approved the new Irish Water non-domestic tariff framework that would apply to the existing 183,000 non-domestic connections who receive water and/or wastewater services from Irish Water. These connections included small, medium and large business customers of Irish Water, as well as customers in the agriculture sector.
Under this new framework, approximately 54% of non-domestic customers would see bill increases as a result of the new charges. The new non-domestic tariffs were due to be implemented on 1 May 2020.
The decision to defer the implementation was made on the basis that any bill increases would fall at a time when there is considerable uncertainty for non-domestic customers. In recognition of the potential financial difficultly for these customers over the coming months, the decision was taken to delay the implementation of the new non-domestic tariffs to a future point in time.
During the current Covid-19 pandemic, any non-domestic customers of Irish Water that are having difficulty in paying their bills should contact Irish Water directly for assistance.
Commenting on the decision, Commissioner Dr Paul McGowan said: “This is the most prudent and fair decision that could be taken at this time when there are substantial challenges for businesses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The CRU will continue to engage with Irish Water and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to agree an appropriate time scale as to when the new framework can be implemented.”