Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Water Conservation Grant
564. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if customers of Irish Water will be required to furnish their PPS number in order to avail of the water conservation grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5739/15]
565. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the water conservation grant, if this payment will be paid annually for the period of the capped charge. [6110/15]
567. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the method of payment that will be used to pay the water conservation grant; if this will be done by credit transfer or through post offices; the conditions that will attach to this payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6183/15]
576. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the estimated cost of administering the conservation grant; and the amount to be paid out in respect of the conservation grant in 2015, 2016 and 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5641/15]
586. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the arrangements in place for processing and administering the conservation grant on behalf of his Department; the agreements that have been arrived at in relation to the cost of administering this project; the amounts provided in his Department's estimates for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5913/15]
587. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the administration and the payment of the conservation grants, if the project was put out to tender, or if another Government Department was requested to carry out this work on behalf of his Department, without a tendering process; the process and the budget agreed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5930/15]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 564, 565, 567, 576, 586 and 587 together.
To promote sustainable use of water and to enhance water conservation in households, the Department of Social Protection will administer, on behalf of my Department, a €100 water conservation grant for households (principal private dwellings) that complete a valid response to Irish Water’s customer registration process. It is proposed that the grant will be paid in one instalment to all eligible households in September 2015 and on an annual basis thereafter.
The water conservation grant replaces the tax rebate and social protection measures previously announced, as it is a more straightforward means of addressing water issues for all households on equal terms and will reduce households’ outlay on water services both now and in the future.
An allocation of €130m for the grant scheme has been provided in my Department’s Estimate for 2015. This is based on an estimate of up to 1.3 million households applying for the grant. This estimated level of demand for 2015 takes account of the number of primary residences recorded in Census 2011 as well as experiences with other demand-led schemes. The provisions required in future years will be determined as part of the annual budgetary process, having regard to the take-up of the scheme and forecast growth in household numbers.
My Department, in consultation with the Department of Social Protection, is currently finalising the modalities of the water conservation grant. I will thereafter make Regulations under the Water Services Act 2014 which will provide for the terms and conditions attaching to the grant, including the date by which households will need to have responded to the Irish Water campaign if they are to be eligible for the grant. All households registered with Irish Water under its application campaign will be contacted directly by the Department of Social Protection in due course.