Water charge discounts

If you are a non domestic customer and have been affected by a Water Quality Notice since 1 October 2014, you are entitled to a discount on your water charges.

Non domestic customers who have been affected by a Water Quality Notice since 1 October 2014 are entitled to a discount on their water charges for the period the Water Quality Notice was in place.

On this page, if you have been affected by a Water Quality Notice, you will find details of how and when you should expect to receive your discount. 

What is a water quality notice

A Water Quality Notice is a Boil Water Notice or Drinking Water Restriction Notice that is issued to you when your water quality is not suitable for drinking directly from the tap. 

  • A Boil Water Notice is issued in cases where it is essential for customers to boil all water for food preparation and direct consumption
  • A Drinking Water Restriction Notice is issued when customers are advised not to use the water for drinking or food preparation

These notices are issued on advice from the Health Service Executive (HSE).

The Water Charges Plan

The Water Charges Plan, approved by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), sets out the following:

  • Tariff discounts are applicable from 1 October 2014
  • Customers who use more than 50,000m³ of water per annum and are not involved in the manufacture or production of food and drink will receive a 5% water tariff discount for the period they were impacted by a Water Quality Notice
  • All other customers will receive a 40% water tariff discount for the period they were impacted by a Water Quality Notice
  • Where a property is mixed use (commercial and domestic), the tariff discount will be adjusted for any domestic allowance received by the customer

The Water Charges Plan is available on the CRU website

How the discounts are calculated

The tariff discount is calculated by applying the above rules to the water supply charge for the period of the Water Quality Notice.  

If the Water Quality Notice does not cover a full billing period, the water supplied charge is calculated on a pro-rata basis for the number of days the Water Quality Notice was in place.

In the following situations, a non-domestic customer who has been affected by a Water Quality Notice will not receive a tariff discount on their bill: 

  • There is no water usage during the billing period, or
  • A customer receives a domestic allowance and this domestic allowance is greater than the water usage charge for the billing period

See below for examples on how we calculate the discount you receive.

The example below is based on a Water Quality Notice from 10 July 2015 to 3 October 2015, but the calculation process will be the same for any dates.

In this example, the closest meter reading to the start date of the Water Quality Notice was a reading of 210 on 1 July 2015 and the closest meter reading to the end date of the Water Quality Notice was 340 on 31 October 2015.

Calculating the discount

Step 1
  • The water usage between the two reads was 340-210 = 130m³ over 123 days (1 July 2015 to 31 October 2015)
  • Based on this usage an average daily usage over the read period is calculated as 130/123 = 1.0569m³ per day
  • The Water Quality Notice period ran for 86 days (10 July 2015 to 3 October 2015)
  • Using the average daily usage calculated above, the water usage over the Water Quality Notice period is 86*1.0569m³ = 90.893m³
  • If the water supplied rate used for billing was €1.1 per 1m³ the Water Quality Notice period usage charge is 90.893m³*1.1= €99.98
Step 2

The next step in the calculation is to apply the discount percentage to this water usage value:

  • Customers who use more than 50,000m³ of water per annum and are not involved in the manufacture or production of food and drink will receive a 5% water tariff discount
  • All other customers will receive a 40% water tariff discount
  • If, in this example, the customer uses less than 50,000m³ of water per annum, the Water Quality Discount will be 40%
  • The tariff discount due to the customer is €99.98*0.4 = €39.99

Notices after 20 November 2018

In this example, the tariff discount is for a Water Quality Notice that closed prior to 20 November 2018 and so would be applied as a one-off adjustment to the bill. If the Water Quality Notice dates are after 20 November 2018, the calculation would be the same, but the tariff discount would be applied to each bill for the days impacted within that billing period, until the Water Quality Notice is lifted.

The calculation below is based on the same information as used for a customer whose property is used only for business use with the only difference being that the customer also receives a domestic allowance of 50m³ per annum. 

The Water Quality Notice was in place from 10 July 2015 to 3 October 2015. The closest meter reading to the start date of the Water Quality Notice was a reading of 210 on 1 July 2015 and the closest meter reading to the end date of the Water Quality Notice was 340 on 31 October 2015.

Calculating the discount

Step 1

The Water Quality Notice period usage charge is calculated in the same way as the previous example and is €99.98 (shown for reference below):

  • The water usage between the 2 reads was 340-210 = 130m³ over 123 days (1 July 2015 to 31 October 2015)
  • Based on this usage an average daily usage over the read period is calculated as 130/123 = 1.0569m³ per day
  • The Water Quality Notice period ran for 86 days (10 July 2015 to 3 October 2015)
  • Using the average daily usage calculated above, the water usage over the Water Quality Notice period is 86*1.0569m³ = 90.893m³
  • If the water supplied rate used for billing was €1.1 per 1m³ the Water Quality Notice period usage charge is 90.893m³*1.1= €99.98
Step 2

Prior to applying the discount percentage, the Water Quality Notice period usage charge is adjusted for the domestic allowance received by the customer for the Water Quality Notice period. In this example the domestic allowance for the Water Quality Notice would be calculated as follows:

  • The annual domestic allowance is 50m³
  • The daily domestic allowance is 50/365 = 0.13703
  • The domestic allowance for the Water Quality Notice period is 0.1370*86 = 11.78m³
  • If the water supplied rate used for billing was €1.1 per 1m³ the Water Quality Notice period domestic usage charge is 11.78m³*1.1= €12.96
Step 3

The domestic allowance for the Water Quality Notice period is then deducted from the water usage charge for the Water Quality Notice period, to give the revised water usage charge that the discount percentage is applied to. So in this case the revised water usage charge is €99.98 - €12.96 = €87.02

If, in this example, the customer uses less than 50,000m³ of water per annum, the Water Quality Discount will be 40%.

The tariff discount due to the customer is €87.02*0.4 = €34.81.

Alternative example

If in the above example the domestic allowance had been 400m³ and not 50m³ the domestic allowance for the Water Quality Notice period (using the same methodology as above) would be €103.67. The resulting revised usage charge is negative and so in this case no tariff discount would be due to the customer.

How discounts are applied

Irish Water will identify non domestic customers affected by a Water Quality Notice, calculate the tariff discount due and apply this to your bill. This tariff discount will be applied as a credit to your bill in one of two ways:

Water Quality Notice between 1 October 2014 and 19 November 2018

If you were impacted by a Water Quality Notice between 1 October 2014 and 19 November 2018, a one-off tariff discount will be calculated for all the days impacted and applied to the bill with the description “Drinking Water Restriction Rebate”.

Water Quality Notice from 20 November 2018 onwards

The tariff discount due for any days you are impacted by a Water Quality Notice from 20 November 2018 onwards will be automatically be applied to your bill with the description “Drinking Water Restriction”.

For example, if a Water Quality Notice was in place from 1 May 2019 to 16 May 2019 and the customer billing period is 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019, a tariff discount for the 16 days impacted will be applied to the bill for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019. The tariff discount will continue to be applied to all subsequent bills until the Water Quality Notice is lifted.

Any non domestic customer who has an open Water Quality Notice on 20 November 2018 will receive the tariff discount via a combination of the two methods:

  • A one-off tariff discount for the period affected up to the 19 November 2018
  • An automatic tariff discount for the days affected from 20 November 2018 onwards

When discounts are received

Tariff discounts will start to be issued from 20 November 2018. Most affected customers will receive any tariff discount due on the first bill they receive from Irish Water after 1 January 2019. 

For more information, see our FAQs.