Reports today claim the standing charge facing householders on their water supply could be up to 33 per cent of their final bill.
The Irish Independent says the proposal is contained in Irish Water's submission to the Commission for Energy Regulation.
With the average yearly bill expected to be about 3 hundred euro, it means water supplies could cost people 100 euro before any metering is carried out.
Irish Water's submission to the Commission for Energy Regulation does not include a view as to how much users should be charged for water - but does seek a 33 percent standing charge on the average bill.
The charge - which is as low as 10 per cent in other countries - could mean that householders are charged 100 euro before they even turn on the tap.
It's understood the measure is designed to give Irish Water a guaranteed income stream - which they'll need to borrow money to develop their infrastructure.
The scale of the standing charge is likely to provoke some backlash - because it won't act as an incentive to conserve water and - could be seen as bringing the charge more in line with a standardised tax.