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Thousands of water customers are sent wrong bills

Posted 23/5/2014

Almost 100,000 homes fitted with meters will receive flat rate bills from Irish Water, resulting in higher charges for tens of thousands of families. 

Customers will miss out on cheaper bills because the controversial utility has been unable to match meters with individual addresses.
This means that the residents will be hit with a capped charge of €65 per family of two adults or more, or €40 for a single person even if they have made efforts to reduce their usage.
The Irish Independent has also learned that deferring the introduction of water charges by three months to January this year cost the taxpayer €68m. The decision to delay the introduction of charges meant Irish Water had to receive extra state funding.
The developments come as Irish Water revealed that some customers have received bills for the first three months of the year for as much as €19,153, indicating they have a serious leak.
One households' consumption was more than five million litres, or a staggering 57,000 litres a day. 

"Your first Irish Water bill was for a capped amount and did not show your meter reading because your customer account information has yet to be linked with your water meter location," it says.
Customers are asked to fill in the so-called 'water point reference number' and account number as they appear on the bill, and return it.
It adds: "If your meter shows that you have used less water than the capped charge, you will be due a credit. We estimate that one third of metered customers can pay less than the capped charge. No customer will pay more than the flat charge."
Irish Water has said there will be problems with billing as the system beds in.
Some 600,000 meters were installed as of March 31 when the first bills were calculated, and of these, 84pc matched with specific addresses.
While some of the affected households will have already received assessed bills, other will arrive over the coming weeks.