Almost 50,000 apply for grant without paying water bills

Alan Kelly urges people not to ‘pull a fast one’ over the new water conservation payment

The Irish Water logo.

The Irish Water logo.

 

COLIN GLEESON

Almost 50,000 people have applied for the water conservation grant without having paid their water bills, an analysis of the figures shows.

The water conservation grant amounts to €100 and was introduced by the Government to enable households to “adopt a more environmentally friendly approach” to water usage in the home.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has urged people not to “pull a fast one” by applying for the grant without paying their bills.

As of last night, 750,000 grant applications had been received, while the number of people who registered with Irish Water by the deadline of June 30th stands at 1.3 million.

This amounts to an overall application rate of almost 58 per cent.

Speaking on Wednesday, Michael McNicholas, chief executive of Ervia, the parent company for Irish Water, said that almost 54 per cent of its customers have registered to claim the grant.***

That percentile amounts to 702,000 people.

This figure means that at least 48,000 people have applied for the conservation grant without paying their bill.

Deadline

The deadline to apply for the grant expires at midnight on Thursday night.

The Department of Social Protection released a statement on Wednesday urging those who have paid their water bills to apply for the grant.

The statement said a total of 395,000 households have already received their grant payment.

It is expected that all payments will be made by the end of October.

Approximately 363,000 calls on the subject have been received by the department’s helpline to date, with about 50,000 of those coming in the last two days.

Due to the high volume of calls, an additional helpline has been made available.

The numbers are: 076-1087890, 02-12065880, or 1890-100043. The lines will be open from 8.30am until midnight.

Applications can be made online.

The report was amended on October 8th, 2015