Response to Livelive Caller

Response to accusation of using scare tactics and frightening people on Liveline

Last Friday afternoon (Sept 19th 2014) I was asked to talk about our water charge estimations on the Joe Duffy Show on RTE Radio One.

After the call was finished another caller (Mr Staunton from Ranelagh) called in and accused me of “using scare tactics and trying to frighten people”. Mr Staunton said that he has a water meter installed and gave the calculations that he feels it will cost him per year.

As I was not given an opportunity to respond on air to Mr Staunton comments I decided to contact the Liveline team today. I left a voicemail and sent an email but at this point at least I have not received a reply.

As I have no idea if Liveline will give me the opportunity to respond to Mr Staunton’s comments on air I think it is important to give you a flavour of the email which was sent to them which clarifies quite a few matters.

I just would like the opportunity to reply your second caller last Friday (John Staunton in Ranelagh) who accused me of “using scare tactics and frightening people”

This certainly was not the purpose of my call. I was merely advising that unless some people don’t change their water usage habits they could get a shock when they receive their bills. 

Over the course of the conversation Mr Staunton stated that water charges will be “€4.44 I think actually your man was wrong with his figures”

Mr Staunton was actually correct. I was wrong with my figures the correct figure is actually €4.88 per thousand litre.

Our revised water charge estimates can now be viewed here

Mr Staunton stated that his charges would be €133.20 based on using 60,000 litres per annum and taking into account the 30,000 litre allowance he would get.

€146.40 per annum (30 x 4.88) would be a more accurate figure based on the CER consultation plan.

Whilst Mr Staunton believes that he will use less water during the winter because he will not be using water for gardening he fails to take account for the fact that most people spend more time at home during the winter months and as a result are likely to use more water.

Mr Staunton said that his charges would be 133 euro per year and you can multiply that by 5 to get an accurate figure for a household of 5.

This is inaccurate for 2 reasons.

1: He was using the wrong figures to calculate cost per thousand litres

2: A household does get an allowance of 30,000 litres but NOT a 30,000 litre allowance for each member of the household.

If one was to decide to use Mr Stauntons formula to calculate estimates the following figures would be a more accurate assessment for a home of 5

5 Adult Household – €1,317.60 (60,000 litres x 5 = 300,000 litres – 30,000 allowance 270,000 litres x 4.88)

2 Adult 3 Children €1,010.16 (60,000 litres x 5 = 300,000 litres – 30,000 allowance – 21,000 child allowance x 3 = 207,000 litres x 4.88)

Another very important thing to point out is that for the first six months a home with a meter already installed will pay a maximum of the assessed charge no matter what their water usage is. If their water usage is less than the assessed charge they will only pay what they have used.

Please refer to

I don’t appreciate being accused of scaremongering and I think it is important to point out that Mr Staunton views are quite inaccurate.

Colm Griffin

01 8428187

You can listen to both my call and that of Mr Stauntons here

Here is some tips on how a home can reduce water charges by 500 Euro per annum


On Liveline on Tuesday 23rd Joe Duffy confirmed on Liveline that Mr Staunton works for the political party Fine Gael. He also confirmed that I had issued a rebuttal to Mr Staunton here on the website


  1. Dear Colm,
    Having listened to John Staunton accuse you of scaremongering I sent a detailed email at the weekend to the Joe Duffy show, pointing out the very inaccuracies which you have outlined above. I feel that it is only right and proper that you be given air time to redress the accusations made against you which were compounded by Mr.Staunton’s absolutely misleading figures and his flawed mathematics resulting in €585.60 underestimation in the example bill used. The public need to be made aware of the true facts as outlined by you and not be gravely misled by Mr.Staunton whom we today learned, from the radio show, is actually employed by Fine Gael.

    1. Thanks for the support Des.
      After the show today I did receive a phone call from Aonghus the researcher on the show and was issued a personal apology for not getting back to me sooner. I am happy enough that Mr Staunton’s relationship with Fine Gael has been clarified and the fact that Joe did state that I had issued a rebuttal through the website however I would be glad to go back on air for further clarification of the opportunity arises.

  2. Didn’t hear liveline but have been checking my meter for past 3 weeks since it was installed. And all I can say is the public are going to be shocked by the amount of water we use and the big bills we are going to be hit with.Hence the reason Im on this site looking for gadgets to cut back on Water.

  3. I do believe people are in for a great big shock about five years down he line. When I lived in England my water charges were equivalent to my rates – wasn’t metered as the house was very, very old d there was some problem but for just myself and y daughter (unmetered) the ill was £800 plus . . . that was 10 years ago. To those who don’t believe they bill get big bills then the best of luck.

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