Almost 990,000 Irish Water customers are set to receive a refund by the end of the year, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, revealed.

Minister Murphy confirmed that once water services legislation providing for refunds is enacted – which is expected to occur this autumn – then refunds of domestic water charges can and will commence.

The majority of all customers will be refunded the full amount they paid before the end of the year, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government explained.

Under this process, approximately 990,000 customers of Irish Water are expected to receive refund payments.

Domestic water services account holders with Irish Water will be automatically refunded by the utility, by way of a cheque. Customers are advised that there is no application process involved and that there is no need to contact Irish Water if their details do not need to be updated.

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services recommended equal treatment between those who have paid their water charges to date and those who have not, Minister Murphy said.

“In keeping with the government’s commitment to implement the committee’s recommendations, the government will include a provision for refunds in forthcoming legislation – which it is intended to publish shortly.

“Subject to the passage of this legislation, Irish Water will begin an information campaign to inform customers and the public on how the refunds process will work,” he added.

While the refunding of Irish Water customers forms part of the process of addressing the issue of domestic water charges, the issue of funding domestic water services must also be addressed, Minister Murphy continued.

“I am confident that the future funding framework for water services, to be implemented once legislation is enacted, will provide funding certainty for Irish Water.

Greater water conservation will also be achieved through ongoing improvements by Irish Water in parallel with the curbing of water wastage by customers and greater public awareness.

Equal treatment between Irish Water customers and those on group water schemes will be maintained by retaining the restored pre-2015 subsidy levels for group water schemes, Minister Murphy concluded.