The Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides for the transfer of water services functions from the local authorities to Irish Water. The Act also provides that responsibility for the independent economic regulation of the water sector is assigned to the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) and the CER has been given statutory responsibility for protecting the interests of customers.
Domestic water charges will commence with effect from 1 October 2014 and Irish Water will issue the first bills to domestic customers from January 2015 . The approach to charging will be outlined by Irish Water in a water charges plan to be submitted by it to the CER in line with the provisions of the Act. The CER is expected to announce its decision on the approved water charges plan in August 2014.
The CER has already undertaken public consultations on the development of the economic regulatory framework for water services and has indicated that in April 2014 it will be carrying out a number of public consultations. These will include consultation on the approach to the design of domestic water tariffs for both metered and unmetered properties. Full details of the CER’s public consultation plans are available on its website (www.cer.ie).