Irish Water’s First Fix Scheme provides qualifying customers with a free leak investigation and repair to their External Supply Pipe. The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) have reviewed the implementation of this policy and have made a number of recommendations for the First Fix Policy Scheme.
The review found that by the end of 2019, 87,247 leak investigations and 60,415 repairs were completed, resulting in total cumulative water savings of 154.92 ML/Day
However, there is a gap between leak notifications issues and fixes meaning that a large number of leaks remained unfixed. This was partly due to eligibility criteria and this reviewed policy aims to address this deficit so that:
- Unmetered customers can now avail of the First Fix Scheme and Irish Water will investigate unmetered leaks.
- Customers who are potentially liable for Excess Use Charges will be prioritised for leak investigation by Irish Water.
- Mixed-use customers with predominant domestic use are eligible for the scheme.
- Unregistered customers are now eligible for the scheme.
- Customers with no internal stop-valve can now avail of the scheme.
- Customers with shared service connection can avail of the first fix scheme.
Irish Water has considerable funding available for this scheme (€36m) to 2024 and with overall leakage rates remaining at high levels this is a very important initiative to try to reduce water losses.