herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Over 90pc of Dublin homes have no meter on the day water charges implemented

OVER 90pc of Dublin households have no water meter installed on the day that Irish Water starts charging for turning on the taps.

The semi-state company has admitted that just over 40,000 households in Dublin have been fitted with meters and could not say when the remainder would be installed.

The most recent census figures, for 2011, showed that there were more than 468,000 private homes in the Dublin region.

Under the new charging regime - announced just yesterday by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) - all 1.35m Irish Water customers will an assessed average charge for the next nine months.

Anyone with a meter at that point will begin to be charged on the basis of how much they consume and will be refunded if they are found to have been using less water up to the end of June.

Customers whose homes don't have a meter installed by July, or whose properties are unsuitable for meters - will continue to pay an assessed average rate that depends on the number of people in the house, which is €278 for a home with two adults.

mains

The exact number of meters left to be installed is unclear, as some private homes - such as those off the water mains - or certain apartment blocks are unsuitable for the meters.

Irish Water, which confirmed that final set-up costs will be €1.7bn, has previously set a deadline of 2016 for the completion of its installation programme.

But last night it could not provide a timetable for when specific estates or areas of Dublin would have meters installed, when asked by the Herald.

Meanwhile, the company has refused to reveal how many PPS numbers have been sent to them.

Around 2.2m people are required to register PPS details with the semi-state company, with a deadline set for the end of January. It is understood that just a small fraction have been submitted.

It emerged yesterday that householders who failed to register with Irish Water face an annual charge of €424.

Irish Water has said that PPS numbers are required to apply for water services allowances and that the numbers would be used to verify the identities of applicants.

It also request a copy of the PPS numbers of all children aged 17 or under living in the home.

unoccupied

Among the allowances it said that the numbers would be used to verify were household water services allowance, unoccupied dwelling allowance and children's water services allowance.

"To ensure the children's water service allowance is provided to qualifying children, the PPS numbers provided will be checked against Department of Social Protection records," according to the company.

Irish Water has also insisted that all data would be kept in accordance of data protection legislation.

"Irish Water will not be sharing details of the number of PPS numbers it has received from customers," a statement to the Herald said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the (CER) has decided that it is unfair to charge customers for water which does not meet quality standards and which could pose a risk to health.

Children will not be charged - each child will receive 21,000 litres of 'free' water per year, and the CER has promised to monitor usage of minors to ensure they do not incur a bill.

The charge per additional adult is €102 per year.

For example, a family with two adults will be €278 a year, rising to €381 for three adults, €483 for four and €586 for five.

hnews@herald.ie

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