Self-builders will be charged €2,272 for a new water connection and €3,929 for a new wastewater connection as of March 2019, according to the Commission for Regulation of Utilities’ proposed decision on Irish Water’s connection charging policy.

The CRU will publish its final decision in December of this year after it finalises the public consultation. The proposed decision is open to comments until November 19th 2018.

The CRU’s proposed decision is in line with Irish Water’s original proposal published earlier this year, which earmarked a total flat connection fee of €5,636. The total now is €6,201.

Currently each local authority evaluates how much to charge self-builders for water and wastewater connections on a case by case basis. The new flat connection fees will be cheaper in nine out of 10 cases, according to Irish Water.

The flat connection fee will cover the cost of connecting the nearest network point to the property boundary.

The cost of bringing water and/or wastewater services from the property boundary to the house will be the responsibility of the self-builder.

The flat charges are primarily based on pipe size: in the case of water the standard size is 25mm, for wastewater 100mm. Connection requests outside standard parameters may incur an additional fee.

However homeowners will not be charged for any additional treatment infrastructure necessary to accommodate the connection.

No refunds

If you have paid for your connection and have been issued a connection offer but have not yet paid, you can apply again to Irish Water under the new flat rate fee regime.

But a connection offer under the new policy will only be issued once the new rates come into force, expected to be March 2019. The exact date will be confirmed when the CRU publishes their final decision in December 2018.

Connection offers from Irish Water are based on the terms and conditions applicable at the time of applying, and these remain valid until the connection offer’s expiry date.

The CRU has confirmed to Selfbuild that if you have already paid for your connection, you did so under the CRU approved connection arrangements applicable at that time, and therefore would not be entitled to a refund.

Today connection offers are valid for a period of 90 days. The CRU is proposing to extend the validity period to 180 days to allow customers the option of re-applying to avail of a connection under the new policy if it’s cheaper than the original offer. As of March 2019, Irish Water may return to issuing connection offers with 90 days validity.

Update December 2018: The CRU’s decision paper has been published. The connection charges are the same as in the proposed decision, i.e. €2,272 for water and €3,929 for wastwater. The implementation date is 1st of April 2019.