Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (659)

Bobby Aylward


659. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to introduce an incremental instalment payment plan to assist persons in paying the cost of water connection charges that would be considered excessive or are in excess of a predetermined threshold; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5211/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 245 of 31 May 2018 which sets out the statutory arrangements in place under the Water Services Acts 2007-2017 for the determination of water services connection charges and charging arrangements. Responsibility for the independent economic regulation of the water sector is assigned to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). As Minister, I do not have a role in determining charging arrangements and must respect fully the statutory powers and functions which the Oireachtas has conferred on the CRU in relation to this matter.

By way of update, I understand that the CRU, informed by a multi-stage public consultation process, published its decision on Irish Water’s enduring Connection Charging Policy on 18 December 2018, and that the approved Connection Charging Policy will come into effect on 1 April 2019, subject to various time-bound transitional arrangements relevant to customers who have made their initial applications on or before 31 March 2019. It may be helpful to note that the CRU has outlined the reasoning behind its position on payment plans in communicating its overall decision, which may be accessed at the following link

https://www.cru.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/CRU18262-CRU-Decision-on-Irish-Waters-Connection-Policy.pdf .