Water penalties to be decided by energy regulator

The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is to be asked to set the financial penalties homeowners will face if they excessively use water.

A new charging regime for water will come into force in January 2018, with the first bills for wasting water to be sent in July 2019.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is to seek Cabinet approval this week to proceed with legislation to implement this new system.

However, discussions are ongoing between Mr Murphy and Fianna Fáil spokesman on housing Barry Cowen about the wording of the legislation.

It is currently proposed that the CER will examine water consumption patterns and provide a report on them to the Minister for Housing.

Average consumption is currently set at 127 cubic meters, with the figure for wilful waste to be 215.9 – 1.7 times normal usage.

Householders will be required to pay for water used above this level. However, it will be the CER, not the Oireachtas, which will set the payments required, which will be determined on a volumetric basis.

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