Description:The creation of Irish Water and increased public attention to water services are critical issues for Irish business. While the introduction of domestic water charges heralds a new era for Irish households, Irish businesses are accustomed to charges for water and have established means to manage water as a resource. As such, they are keen to ensure that introducing domestic water charges not only minimally impacts commercial rates and conservation efforts, but that opportunities for innovation are maximised. Ibec pursues these goals through the Environment Policy Committee (EPC)’s Water Working Group, as well as through strong relationships with Irish Water, the Commission for Energy Regulation and other key stakeholders.
Implication(s):Understanding water as a vital and limited resource has driven development of water related legislation at national and European level, affecting all water users and service providers. Irish businesses have always been liable to pay for water use. The introduction of domestic charges will likely affect the cost and delivery of water services. Where household usage is affected by conservation, free allowances and other variables, any reduction in revenue from water charges must be offset. In this context, with business conservation efforts at maximum, costs to commercial users could increase. Above-all, innovation in water services can help the State seize the numerous opportunities that come with Ireland’s first national water utility.
Current Position:Ibec supports the development of regulation that balances preserving water as a vital resource with avoiding unnecessary costs to businesses. Ibec further supports the creation of Irish Water and seeks to help maximise its efficiency as a utility and minimise disruption to water users during the transition from the historical Local Authority-based structure. As such, the EPC Water Working Group seeks to establish effective communication between Ibec members, Irish Water, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders. The Working Group also focuses carefully on water charging policy, drivers of innovation in water services and the implications of the Water Framework Directive and other European and national legislation.
Phone: +353 1 605 1526
Last Updated: 08/23/2013