Changes proposed by Irish Water for business customer tariffs
Irish Water has already taken over billing for non-domestic (business) water users. However, to date no changes have been made to the tariffs that Irish Water inherited from the Local Authorities. Over 500 different tariffs exist and this results in business customers paying significantly different charges for the same service. Businesses in Wicklow, Kilkenny and Clare pay the highest charges, while businesses in Kildare, Tralee and Kerry county pay the lowest.
A process is now underway to harmonise these tariffs. Irish Water has drafted proposals for how this should be dealt with, covering both the future tariff structure and the transition arrangements. Under Irish Water’s proposals, it is estimated that bills will increase for 49% of business customers and decrease for the remaining 51%.
A public consultation on these proposals is now open. Businesses are encouraged to make individual submissions before the closing date of 15 August. Input can also be made via the Small Firms Association – please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the proposals is available here.
Summary of Irish Water proposals:
- The proportion of Irish Water’s revenue deriving from businesses would increase from 20% to 24% to reflect the level of service being used by this sector
- A single national charging policy would be introduced
- Customers would be split into three categories (standard, commercial and industrial) and charges would reflect the different costs of servicing these groups
- Charges would consist of a fixed standing charge and a variable use-based volumetric charge
- The 4% of business customers that are unmetered would pay a flat charge
- Mixed-use premises (e.g. a shop with a flat above it) would only be charged for usage in excess of their domestic allowance
- The new tariffs will likely come into effect in Q4 2019. Customers will move to the new tariffs immediately if: a) their annual bill is expected to decrease; or b) their annual bill is expected to increase by less than €250. A transition period will apply for other customers.