Price may rise if public conserve water
It is understood Irish Water may be given permission to hike the price of water if demand is lower than expected.
The Commission for Energy Regulation is considering the move, if it was deemed necessary to meet the costs incurred by the company in running the network.
It has also emerged that the water charge may rise in times of drought or other shortages.
The CER says it expects to begin a public consultation on the tariff structures later this year, with a decision in the third Quarter.
It says the charge will be based on a number of factors, including the quality of Irish Water's service, its commercial viability, as well as how Irish Water measures up with water providers in other countries.
However in a statement this afternoon, the Department of the Environment said it believes that water charges will be fixed until 2016.