Irish Water Charges

As of today, 1st October 2014, the Irish people will be liable for domestic water charges.

For the first 9 months, households will be liable for an ‘assessed’ charge that is based upon the number of adults in the property. The first adult is charged €176 a year, and each additional adult is charged an extra €102.  Children will not be charged.

Then, as of July 2015, those properties with water meters installed will be charged based on the volume of water consumed – at a cost of €2.44 per 1,000 litres of water.

However, I live in an apartment, and as such I’m very unlikely to have a water meter installed. So I’ll continue to be liable for the ‘assessed’ charge going forward.

The thing is, now that I’m suddenly paying what is in effect a subscription charge for my water, my first instinct is to try and maximise my usage.  It’s like having a gym membership or a subscription to Netflix.  You want to feel that you’re getting the maximum value for your money.

With that in mind, I’m considering now having two, or even three, showers a day from now on.  I’m going to wash each item of clothing in a separate wash.  And to ensure that I always have cold water available for when I want a drink, I’m going to leave a tap running in the kitchen.

After all, I’m going to be paying 76 cents a day for this water, so I want to make the most of it.

Lower Estimations

We don’t often get anyone knocking on the door. We’re in what I like to call a “gated community” – in that an electronic fob is required to get through the gate into the grounds of the apartments, and again to get into the lift/stairs – and so visitors have to call on the intercom or phone when they arrive, to be let in.

And so, when there was a knock on the door earlier today, I assumed it must be one of our neighbours. But no – it was a salesman – and he must have persuaded one of the other residents to let him in. I’ve flatly refused to let other salespeople into the apartments in the past, as I hate the concept of being doorstepped with a hard sell.

Anyway, so this guy was from Airtricity, and he was trying to persuade me to switch electricity suppliers to them. He asked if I had a recent electricity bill that I could show them, and he would explain how much money I could save. I declined, but he kept talking, trying to persuade me to play along – reminding me why I hate this kind of selling.

The thing is, I’d been considering moving my supply to Airtricity anyway, as they have the cheapest prices on the market at the moment, and are a good way for eco-agnostics like myself to feel a bit better about saving the planet, without any of the down sides of being properly green (such as putting in any effort). I even had the company’s website loaded up on one of my browser tabs. But this recent visitation has put me right off the company, and I may well end up going with Bord Gais instead, just on principal.

UPC Upgrades

It’s no more than a month since my NTL (UPC) broadband speed was doubled from 3 megabits to 6 megabits, and now I read that from July onwards the they’re increasing the downloads bandwidths again to 20 megabits for the €40 package, and 10 megabits for the €30 package; the one I have (see news item: UPC announces 20Mbps broadband for €40 a month)

At long last we’re achieving reasonable download speeds in Ireland, comparable with other countries in western Europe. Shame that they continue to restrict the related upload speeds so much.

However, they have announced that they’re going to abolish the data caps on their new 20 and 10 megabit packages, so I shouldn’t moan too much, as they now seem to have the best offering on the Irish market

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