Europe

Irish Water to send incorrect bills to unregistered households

Hot and cold water taps in a sink in a bathroom
Image caption Irish Water will begin sending out bills from the beginning of April

Incorrect water bills will be sent to thousands of households in the Republic of Ireland, Irish Water has confirmed.

The state-wide charging scheme means millions of residents will have to pay for domestic supply for the first time.

Among more than 1.7 million households that will receive bills over an eight-week period starting in April are about 700,000 that have not registered with the company.

Irish Water said it had to operate on the basis of incomplete information.

Protests

This meant that unregistered households that had not provided assessment details would receive default bills, it said.

Many householders have objected to paying for their water supply, and have staged large-scale protests against the government scheme.

As part of the Republic of Ireland's international bailout deal in 2010, the government made commitments to restructure its economy, and the introduction of universal domestic water charges was just one of the unpopular changes it agreed to introduce.

Amid widespread protests, it revised its plans last November to introduce a number of caps on charges, including water conservation grants of 100 euros (£74) a year.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly told parliament on Tuesday that householders who fail to register with Irish Water by 30 June could not claim the grant.

Irish Water said its call centre would operate 24 hours a day to deal with anticipated issues arising from its billing process.

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