Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (127)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

127. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he has raised concerns with Irish Water on the issue of connection fees for water and sewerage for residential new builds and the taking in charge of developer built wastewater infrastructure in newly built estates. [38312/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels in accordance with Section 7 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013. This includes the connection of newly built residential developments to the water services network, including Irish Water's protocols pertaining to the use of developer provided infrastructure. Irish Water has been given statutory responsibility in this domain, and I, as Minister, have no function in relation to this matter.

Responsibility for the independent economic regulation of Irish Water has been assigned to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. In accordance with Part V of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013, the Commission is responsible for the determination of the charges, including connection charges, and charging arrangements, that shall apply to new customers of Irish Water. The Commission has come to its own independent assessment of the appropriate charges and charging arrangements that shall apply to new network connections.

My Department liaises closely with Irish Water and the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities in order to ensure that there is a common understanding of the respective roles that have been given to Irish Water, the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, and the Minister, as appropriate, under the Water Services Acts 2007 to 2017, and that the legislative provisions are implemented in a coordinated and cohesive manner.

Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.