First Fix Free scheme extended to 600,000 additional customers
19 April 2021
An additional 600,000 customers can now benefit from Irish Water’s free leak repair service following approval by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) to extend the First Fix scheme.
In approving Irish Water’s proposals, the CRU recognises the success of the scheme in reducing leakage and safeguarding water supplies.
The First Fix scheme is a key element of the national Leakage Reduction Programme which is addressing the serious problem of leakage in Ireland’s water network. The scheme provides customers with support in identifying and fixing leaks. Irish Water offers a free leak investigation and, when a potential leak has been identified, a free repair to a leak detected on an external supply pipe on the customer’s property.
Since its introduction in 2015, the First Fix scheme has resulted in savings of 155 million litres of water every day, enough water to supply 450,000 homes a year. To date more than 87,000 investigations and 60,400 leak repairs have been completed. The changes approved by the CRU this week will open the scheme to customers who were not included in the original scope, including those without a water meter. As a result up to 600,000 more customers will now be able to benefit from the service.
Irish Water’s Customer Strategy and Capability Manager Geoffrey Bourke said, “Tackling Ireland’s high rate of leakage is a top priority for Irish Water. We are making steady progress by replacing old water mains, fixing leaks and upgrading our water network as part of the Leakage Reduction Programme.
“The First Fix scheme is an essential tool in tackling the problem of leakage on customers’ property. We welcome the decision to expand the eligibility criteria. Many more customers will now be able to have a leak fixed free of charge and help to conserve our precious water resources. This will benefit everyone by ensuring a more secure and reliable water supply for all. We look forward to working with our customers throughout Ireland as we continue to deliver this important programme.”
Following the completion of the CRU review of the First Fix Free scheme, Irish Water will work with the Regulator and our delivery partners to implement the recommended changes, including:
- Unmetered domestic customers can now avail of the scheme;
- Domestic customers with usage above 213,000 litres per annum will be prioritised for leak investigation under the First Fix Scheme;
- An Internal Stop Valve is no longer needed for a customer to be eligible;
- Some mixed-use customers will now be eligible;
- Properties with a shared service connection will now be eligible; and
- Customers no longer need to be registered with Irish Water to avail of the scheme.
Full details of the First Fix Free scheme can be found on the First Fix Free section of our website. Our customer care helpline is open 24/7 on 1850 278 278 and customers can also contact us on Twitter @IWCare with any queries.
Irish Water is working at this time, with our Local Authority partners, contractors and others to safeguard the health and well-being of both staff and the public and to ensure the continuity of critical drinking water and wastewater services. Irish Water would like to remind people to follow the HSE COVID-19 advice and ensure frequent handwashing.