Irish Water to introduce excess water changes next year

Irish Water has confirmed that plans are in place to introduce excess water charges from next year.

A spokesperson says "the clock will start" on excess charging from next January.

A report from the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) confirmed the suspension of water charges will continue until December 31, 2018.

Excess use charges will not begin until January 1, 2019 "at the earliest" while bills will not be issued until at least July 1 next year.

The utility says a public consultation is to be carried out to determine what constitutes excess usage.

"The Water Charges Plan clarifies that there will be no charges for water services for domestic customers in 2018; provides that excess use charges will apply from 2019; advises that detail regarding excess use charge levels, commencement dates and associated rules and processes will be agreed with the Minister and the CRU and provided in a later version of the Water Charges Plan," Irish Water said in a statement.

"Irish Water will implement this Government policy as directed and sees the policy on charging for excess usage as primarily a policy that will enable us to assist customers to conserve water and fix leaks."

Charges to domestic customers will only apply when water in excess of 213,000 litres per year is used.

An 'allowance amount' of 25,000 litres per year will be given for each additional person above four in a house.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy says the plans will face huge opposition.

"What lies between Irish Water's plan and the reality of water charges is the fact that water charges are still politically toxic, that water charges face mass opposition, which could again become mass protest opposition," he said.

Read the full Irish Water Charges Plan here:

- Digital Desk

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