The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has agreed a second postponement of the implementation of Irish Water's new Non-Domestic Tariffs.
The new tariffs will now apply to all of Irish Water's non-domestic customers from October 1, 2021
- Non-Domestic Water Charges will now be introduced 1st October 2021
- New tariffs start date was originally postponed in March 2020 with revised start date of 1st May 2021 due to uncertainty for customers affected by COVID-19 pandemic
- New Irish Water tariffs will be simpler, fairer and more transparent for 184,000 non-domestic customers
The CRU has agreed a second postponement of the implementation of Irish Water’s new Non-Domestic Tariffs. The new tariffs will now apply to all of Irish Water’s non-domestic customers from 1st October 2021.
In March 2020, a decision was made to defer the implementation of the new non-domestic tariff framework for business customers. The was due to the considerable uncertainty for businesses as a result of the ongoing restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A decision was taken in November 2020 to implement the new Non-Domestic Tariff Framework on 1st May 2021. This time frame was to provide advance notice of the tariff changes to allow Irish Water customers to plan accordingly for 2021.
However, with the implementation of further required restrictions in January due to the impact of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and many businesses remaining closed, a decision has been taken in conjunction the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and Irish Water to defer the new tariff framework implementation.
The CRU considers it is necessary to provide sufficient notice to individual customers of their new tariff in advance of the implementation date. Businesses which are closed are unlikely to be in a position to receive relevant communications from Irish Water in advance of the change to their tariff.
The new implementation date of 1st October 2021 means that non-domestic customers will not see any changes to their Irish Water bills until October 2021 or later depending on their billing cycle.
A three-year transition arrangement will be put in place by Irish Water to assist customers who may be faced with a large annual bill increase. Under this arrangement any annual bill increase above €250 will be spread over three years. In addition to this, any customer facing an annual bill increase of over €750 will have the increase capped at 10% per year for the duration of the three-year transition.
Taking into account the limits on bill increases, the impact of the new tariffs in the first year of billing is as follows:
- 46.4% (85,059 connections) will see bill decreases
- 50.4% (92,511 connections) will see bill increases of less than €250
- 1.6% (2,899 connections) will see bill increases of between €250 – €500
- 1.5% (2,725 connections) will see bill increases of between €500 – €5,000.
- 0.2% (285 connections) will see bill increases greater than €5,000
Commenting on the decision, Paul McGowan CRU Commissioner with responsibility for Water Regulation, said “The CRU considers that the new tariff framework will be a positive development for the sector and a more equitable solution for all non- domestic water customers. A key foundation to the effective delivery of this is communications and that enough notice is given to individual customers of their new tariff in advance of the implementation date to allow them to plan accordingly.
However, due to the current restrictions, a high percentage of businesses are closed and may not be in a position to receive relevant communications from Irish Water in advance of the change to their tariff. The CRU has concluded that postponing the introduction of the new tariffs until 1st October is the most appropriate course of action to take in these circumstances.”