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Water users who don’t register face higher bills.

Homeowners who don’t voluntarily supply their details to Irish Water risk losing the ‘free’ water allowance.

Some 1.35 million households will be “invited” to register with the company from this summer, and those who refuse can expect to pay higher bills, the Irish Independent has learned.

This is because the Government is considering penalising people who don’t sign up and provide billing details to the utility company, including name, address and preferred method of payment.

It will award a free amount of water to each person living in the property, after which they will be expected to pay a charge based on consumption.

A source said there was a possibility that “to avail of the free allowance, you will have to register”.

“You will have to identify how many people will be in the house. The free allowance will more likely be a per-person allowance (rather than based on house size), with additional amounts for families.”

Irish Water has expressed concern that customers may not register, but says it is building a computer system with the capability to bill unregistered customers.

The prospect of people not registering is considered “likely”.

Databases holding information such as household charge compliance and connection to utilities including Bord Gais and the ESB will be used to identify houses that haven’t registered.

Internal company documents show it plans to begin a public registration campaign in the coming months, in advance of charges coming into force from October. The first bills will be issued next January.

“Irish Water will approach the domestic registration process through inviting customers to confirm their details,” the documents state.

The semi-state company plans to “actively communicate” with customers to explain the services it will offer; provide a “consistent, professional experience”; and will “initially focus” on providing clean drinking water and waste water services.

From: The Irish Independent

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