By Thomas Lynch

Look what you can do with your €100 grant. You’re limited to conservation equipment, which will probably cost you a lot more than the €100 you’re receiving.
What is the Water Conservation Grant?

To promote sustainable use of water and to enhance water conservation in households, the Department of Social Protection will administer, on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, a €100 per annum water conservation grant for households (primary dwellings) that complete a valid response to Irish Water’s customer registration process.

While Irish Water, as part of the transition phase, will have a ‘first fix free’ scheme to fix customer leaks, some leakage may be internal to the house, so the €100 annual water conservation grant, which they can use to address leaking cisterns, change dripping taps etc. Equally, households can use the grant towards the costs of water butts or installing dual flush toilets or rain water systems, de-sludging their septic tank or maintaining their well to ensure that it is operating efficiently.

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.

All eligible households will receive a Water Conservation Grant. The grant will be paid to the registered householders annually in respect of their primary dwellings, with the first payment to be paid in September 2015 and each subsequent year up to and including 2018.

How to claim the Water Conservation Grant and what do I need to do next?

It is important that all households first register with Irish Water and provide them with all the relevant details during their customer application campaign. You need to register even if you have your own source of water supply and septic tank. Separately households will then be required by the Department of Social Protection to provide certain information, including a PPS number, as is normal, as part of this process and will have to confirm that the house concerned is their primary dwelling. The Department is currently putting systems in place to administer this scheme and full details will be announced when they are finalised. There is no need to contact the Department now as the Department will be communicating with people in the mid 2015 inviting them to apply for the Water Conservation Grant.