On 18 December, the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) issued a final decision on Irish Water's Connection Charging Policy which included a single set of standard connection charges and standardises the scope of work involved in each connection. The decision follows a public consultation process and engagement with a broad range of stakeholders.

Currently, connections to the Irish Water network are charged at the same rates as applied by Local Authorities prior to the establishment of Irish Water. As the 31 Local Authorities each had different charging methods and rates there was a wide variation in connection charges across the country.  

There are also different levels of connection works which were performed depending on the Local Authority area for example, in some cases the customer may be required to pay the cost of a Road Opening Licence (ROL) and or to procure their own contractor to complete the physical connection works. Recognising the inconsistency and unfairness of the current arrangements, the CRU requested Irish Water to submit proposals for a new Connection Charging Policy.  

Public Consultation

A 10 week Public Consultation was held in January 2018 on our proposed enduring Connection Charging Policy. This was followed by the publication of a proposed CRU decision which was open for public comments for a further 4 weeks. The proposals had been broadly supported by the consultation feedback and allowed for the CRU decision.

The policy will simplify the current charging arrangements by providing a single national, clear, transparent and equitable connection charging framework by:

  • Setting out Standard Connection Charges for the majority of connecting customers
  • Charge for connections based on service need and not the development floor area of the property
  • Provide an end-to-end connection service to customers in a consistent, safe, and comprehensive manner

The new charges will start on 1 April and a transition period will be available to customers so they can chose the most economically beneficial quote between the old and new charges.

Questions and Answers

Irish Water is introducing a Connection Charging Policy that contains a national set of charges for connections to the Irish Water, water and wastewater networks.  The charges will be calculated in a cost-reflective manner, based on connection type.  Standard connection charges will apply to the majority of customers and Irish Water will provide a full connection service to a customer’s boundary, where all components of the connection works are performed by Irish Water. View the Connection Charging Policy and associated Explanatory Document.

The Connection Charges apply to applicants who wish to connection to the Irish Water, water and/or wastewater network directly or indirectly. The new connection charges will apply to developers of multi unit housing (or mixed use) developments, customers developing their own homes (one off housing) and customers wishing to connect a business. Connection charges always existed and were historically applied by IW and previous to that by the LAs. A connection charge is only applied once and is pre paid in advance of a  connection to the IW water and/or waste water network. These connection charges will not have any impact on existing connected customers.

Currently, connections are charged at the rates applied by the Local Authorities as at 31st December 2013. There are circa 57 different charging regimes with different methodologies and levels of service and, as a national utility, IW recognise that this situation is inconsistent, unfair and overly complex. The CRU also recognised the inconsistency and unfairness of the current charging model and asked Irish Water to submit a proposal for a new Connection Charging Policy which would be simple, fair, and transparent for customers across the country. Irish Water has submitted its proposals for this new policy to the CRU who have approved the policy following a public consultation process. 

The new policy will provide a single clear, transparent and fair connection charging framework. The Irish Water Connection Charging Policy:

  • Sets out Standard Connection Charges for the majority of customers - currently customers in different Local Authorities pay different charges for the same type of connection
  • Applies a charge which is based on the cost of providing that connection - currently, many connection charges are not cost reflective (i.e. are not reflective of the impact on the upstream network) and are simply based on the development floor area of the property
  • Provides a consistent, safe, and end-to-end connection service to customers nationally - at present different levels of connection works are performed depending on the Local Authority area: for example, in some cases the customer may be required to pay the cost of a Road Opening Licence (ROL) or to procure their own contractor to complete the physical connection works

Currently there are 57 different charging regimes across 31 Local Authorities, with different levels of connection service provided to the customer.  From 1 April 2019, these will all be replaced by a single national connection policy with standard charges applying to the majority of connecting customers. As Irish Water is harmonising the charges nationally and standardising the service being offered, there will be some charge increases and some charge decreases across the country. However, the new policy will ensure that all new customers will be treated equally, cost and service wise, when connecting to the Irish Water network.  

The effective date for the new Policy is the 1 of April 2019. However, the following transition arrangements will be in place from 1st Jan 2019 : 

  • Applications made before 1 January 2019 will be issued with a connection offer in line with the current charging arrangements (regardless of when the offer is issued).
  • Where the application is received and the offer is issued from 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019, the connection charge will be calculated on the basis of the current charging arrangements with a condition included in the offer identifying the connection charge that would apply under the new policy. The customer will have the option of selecting the new charge by contacting the Irish Water call centre. The connection offer will then be re-issued on the basis of the new charge post 1 April 2019. 
  • Where the application is received from 1 January 2019 – 31 March 2019 and the offer is issued post the policy effective date (1 April 2019), the connection charge will be the lower of the current charging arrangements or the new charge. A clause will be included identifying the alternative charge and the customer will have the option to of selecting the alternative charge by contacting the IW call centre. 
  • Finally, from 1 April 2019, all applications received will automatically be given an offer under the new policy and will receive a full IW end to end service.

 

  • Where customers have already received a Connection Offer from Irish Water before the new policy comes into effect, this offer will remain valid until its expiry date.  
  • Where a Customer has submitted a Connection Application but has not yet received a Connection Offer, the transitional arrangements outlined will apply. 
  • Where a customer has not yet accepted a Connection Offer from Irish Water, he/she can choose to submit a new application under the new policy after it comes into effect.

The charges that are due to come into effect on 1 April 2019 are set out in the following tables. Please note that until 1 April 2019 the current connection charging framework will apply. For further details on these charges please refer to the Connection Charging Policy documents in Question 1. 

Standard Connection Charges From 1 April 2019

Standard Connection Charges - Water

Category 

Service Pipe Size (mm)Connection Charge (€)
Single  Domestic (1 Unit) 25 2,272
Domestic Development ( 2- 5 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 2,272
Domestic Development (6 - 100 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 1,848
Domestic Development (>100 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 1,708
Non Domestic Small 1 25 2,272
Non Domestic Small 2 32 8,781
Non Domestic Medium 1 50 19,371
Non Domestic Medium 2 80 29,645
Non Domestic Medium 3 100 46,179
Non Domestic Medium 4 150 83,900
Non Domestic Medium 5 200 149,692
Non Domestic Large 1 250 Quotable
Non Domestic Large 2 300 Quotable
Non Domestic Large 3 350 Quotable

These charges are based on standard parameters. Requirements in excess of the standard parameters may incur additional charges. Please see the Connection Charging Policy document for further details.
* Domestic Development and apartments with multiple units will incur the charge per each individual unit per application.

Standard Connection Charges - Wastewater

Category Service Pipe Size (mm)Connection Charge (€)
Single  Domestic (1 Unit) 100 3,929
Domestic Development ( 2- 5 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 3,929
Domestic Development (6 - 100 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 3,499
Domestic Development (>100 Units)* Dependent on number of Units 3,381
Non Domestic Small  100 3,929
Non Domestic Medium 1 150 23,344
Non Domestic Medium 2 225 226,571
Non Domestic Large 1 300 Quotable
Non Domestic Large 2 375 Quotable
Non Domestic Large 3 450 Quotable

These charges are based on standard parameters. Requirements in excess of the standard parameters may incur additional charges. The charges assume a gravity pipe connection, for non gravity pipe connections additional charges may apply. Please see the Connection Charging Policy document for further details. 
* Domestic Development and apartments with multiple units will incur the charge per each individual unit per application.

The effective date for the new Policy is 1 April 2019. From this date, Irish Water will be able to issue connection offers based on the new charges. Once the connection offer is signed by the customer, Irish Water can accept payments against the new charges and work can then be scheduled. Please note its currently estimated to take 12 weeks on average to complete connection works from the date the Road Opening License is received by Irish Water (where a Road Opening Licence is required to facilitate a connection).

This timeline is estimated on the basis that our regional contractors complete all the works and the following criteria has been met:

  • No road closures are needed for the connection 
  • The connection is a standard connection and does not require a mains extension 
  • In relation to self-lay developments, a conformance cert will need to be obtained by the developer from Irish Water in advance of Irish Water providing a connection to the development.
  • The developer must have undertaken a water quality test and obtained a positive result within 14 days of a connection being made, otherwise the test will have to be undertaken again. Confirmation of this needs to be in the Final Documents for the Field Engineers’ assessment.

The above timeline is indicative as some connections will be straightforward and completed quicker while more complex connections may take longer. 

 

More information

To find out more, please visit the CRU website

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