Irish Water urges businesses and their representative groups to participate in Regulator’s consultation on future charges for water and wastewater

Posted in Connect on June 20, 2018.

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has just opened an eight week consultation on the future of non-domestic water and wastewater tariffs and Irish Water is urging all those affected to have their say.

Currently, Irish Water continues to apply the Local Authority non-domestic tariffs that were in place in December 2013. There are 44 different charging regimes across the country with different tariff structures and over 500 different tariff levels. Recognising this complexity and inequity in business charges, the CRU asked Irish Water to submit a proposal for a new non-domestic tariff framework.

Irish Water has submitted its proposed framework to the CRU.  It covers the design of the new tariffs, a review of the costs of serving the non-domestic sector, and Irish Water’s proposals on how to gradually transition business customers to the new framework over time.

The CRU has today published Irish Water’s proposals, together with its own observations, and is seeking the views of business customers, the water industry and all other interested parties. After considering the responses to the consultation, the CRU will issue its proposed decision in Q4 2018, together with the proposed tariff rates, and will again seek customer and stakeholder views. The new framework and tariff rates are planned to come into effect in Q4 2019.

Speaking about the consultation, Irish Water’s General Manager Eamon Gallen said:

“Irish Water’s aim is to ensure that every business around the country is provided with a clear, transparent, equitable charging regime regardless of where they are located. Currently there are over 500 different tariff levels, with customers in different Local Authorities paying different charges. Irish Water’s proposals will simplify and standardise these charges across the country, providing equity to all business customers.  The new framework is based on a comprehensive review of the costs of providing water and wastewater services to non-domestic customers nationwide.

“Irish Water is aware of the pressures on businesses and that is why, under these proposals, all customers will have a one year grace period before any changes are implemented in late 2019.  Over 88% of customers will see their annual bill decrease, remain the same, or increase by less than €250. Just 12% of business customers will see an increase of €250 or more and, under Irish Water proposals, these customers will have three years to gradually adjust to their new bill.  They can also avail of a 10% cap on their annual increase to lessen the impact and transition over a longer period of time.

“In developing these proposals, Irish Water has consulted with business representative groups and individual businesses and has examined international best practice. As a national utility, we must ensure that our business charges are clear and simple, and that customers are not disadvantaged based on where they operate in the country.

“This is an important change.  Irish Water is encouraging individual businesses and their representative groups to respond to the CRU’s consultation and inform the final determination.”

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