Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the publication of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities consultation paper on Irish Water’s charging regime for domestic water users for so-called excessive use.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The CRU has launched a public consultation on Irish Water’s proposals for charging domestic water users for so-called excessive use.
“The excessive use charging regime is of a result of a backroom deal made between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in 2017 as an attempt to kick the water charges issue down the road.
“Irish Water propose to charge households a €1.85-unit rate charge per 1,000 litres of water and waste water consumed over the annual allowance.
“This new charge would be capped at €500 for both water and waste-water.
“For homes that do not have a domestic water meter, Irish Water will use district meters to track which homes are using ‘excessive’ amounts of water and will send crews to assess the situation.
“These homes could then have a meter installed.
“Irish Water estimates that 8% of homes are excessively using water; there is no evidence to support this. It is just as likely that high usage rates in these homes are the result of undetected leaks particularly in older housing stock.
“In the first instance, the focus should be on detecting leaks and assisting homeowner in fixing these through an expanded find and fix service.
“This should be rolled out before any consideration of a charge for excessive use.”