April meeting minutes

Published on: Apr 9, 2014

We’re here tonight in our new venue, the Wood Quay Venue, nestled underneath the DCC building. It might be the fanciest basement in Dublin, lots of natural light, lots of exposed stones which I presume from the architectural squiggles are part of something very old indeed, free Wifi (presumably to make up for the lack of mobile phone coverage) and tea and coffee.

It’s a little tricky to find (at least for me) so I’ll draw a map to make sure we don’t lose anyone next month. If you’re out tree tonight looking for us, go to Winetavern st heading towards the river. Turn right into the outdoor plaza and there’s a building on your right. That’s us! Look out for signs saying Wood Quay Venue.

Overhead
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Winetavern st entrance
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Fishamble st entrance
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We had a guest speaker from Cheetah with us last month but because of the bad weather (even for Ireland in March) a lot of people missed out so we’ll be discussing it again tonight.

The council attach a bulk meter to the point on their water network where a private connection is made. This connection could be into a single house, into a housing estate or a complex with various uses. It is always fitted on public property.

For larger developments, additional bulk meters may (should) be fitted for each building or zone. Most large developments don’t feed apartments directly. Instead, the public supply feeds one or more large tanks of water and each apartment takes it’s supply from there. In some complexes, domestic meters may be fitted at the supply point for each apartment.

When a single house is metered, the water supply company will drive past the meter (which is on public property) and read it wirelessly. This causes problems for metering of apartments. Currently, the plan is that apartments will not be individually metered. Instead, the total usage for the complex will be divided between all the units in the complex and the bills calculated based on that.

The regulator, CER, will start a consultation process soon. At this time, we will be able to submit our proposals. There are several options for us to consider:

– Irish Water split the total usage for the complex equally between all the owners and bill the owners directly.
– Irish Water split the total usage for the complex between all the owners based on the number of bedrooms and bill the owners directly.
– Irish Water bills the OMC and the OMC splits the total water bill between all the owners
– Irish Water bills the OMC who fit a meter on each apartment and use that to split the bill between all the owners based on their actual usage.
– Irish Water fit a meter to each apartment and bill apartment owners based on their actual usage.
– Irish Water bill each apartment resident at a flat rate ignoring the presence of any bulk meter in the complex.

There are other questions:
– how will mixed used developments be handled?
– how will taps owned by the OMC be billed?
– how will they determine the number of bedrooms in an apartment? Could it be self assessed?
– if apartment owners fit their own meters, can they submit readings to Irish Water?

After a lot of discussion, we settled on proposing a flat fee for each owners. We had an open Q&A session after that but as the storyteller says, you had to be there.

Good night folks!

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