What decisions has the Government made to date in relation to water charges?
Each household will receive a free allowance of 30,000 litres of water supply (and a corresponding allowance for wastewater) per annum (for primary residences only).
Each household will receive an additional allocation for every child under 18 (with entitlement aligned with child benefit) to cover the normal water consumption of a child.
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government will use his powers to issue a policy direction to the CER:
the domestic charging regime will be fixed for 2015 and 2016;
for social and environmental reasons, there will be no standing charge for domestic customers (a minimum charge may be applied to properties that are not permanently
occupied e.g. holiday homes);
Assessed charges will be based primarily on occupancy and possibly refined based on data from metered usage to ensure that they are as close a proxy for metered usage as possible;
the CER to ensure provision is made for retrospective adjustment of charges including a rebate (above a reasonable threshold) in the context of transitional arrangements for
people from moving from assessed to metered home;
Charges to be capped for people with high water usage due to certain medical conditions; and Irish Water to take account of the quality of services provided to customers, including circumstances where services are reduced or restricted (e.g. due to boil water notices).
Irish Water will receive an operational subvention averaging in excess of €530m in 2015 and 2016, and provision is being made to provide equity of just over €400m in equity to Irish Water in 2015 and 2016 (this is in addition to a capital provision of €240m by way of equity in 2014). This will bring the overall capital programme in 2015 and 2016 to over €400m - €100m higher than current levels.
Irish Water will deliver a free first fix scheme, entitling every household to a free fix of the first leak identified on a customer’s water supply pipe.
The Government will adjust the subsidy to group water schemes to ensure that households in that sector receive equitable support by comparison with households on public water supplies.