Utilities (gas, water, electricity, refuse) in Dublin

The first thing you should know about utilities in Ireland is…there’s no such thing! Gas, water, electricity and refuse are referred to as “The Bills”, and expats will be met with blank stares if they make any mention of “utilities”.


Electricity Meter for utilities in DublinUntil recently there was only one company in Ireland: the Electricity Supply Board. Luckily for the wallet wary, competition has come to be in the form of an eco-company called AirTricity, which also operates as the gas company and some others. Bord Gais also offers electricity supplies.

Standard voltage in Ireland is 230V AC.
Costs per unit are high but dropping daily. The cost is estimated based on the time of day, so night-time rates are usually lower than daytime costs. Check with your landlord if renting as they will probably have a preference or advise you.


Gas is commonly used as a cooking and heating fuel in Ireland. Rates are often cheaper than electricity, but it is not always available. The company Bord Gais will change your supply to gas from electricity, or supply electricity on demand. Read the Energy Customers website for information on switching between electricity and gas.


Garbage and refuse are also terms not used in Ireland. This service is known as the Rubbish or the Bins. Charges vary greatly from area to area. Most houses or apartment buildings operate with a system of coloured bins – green bags or wheelie bins for recycling, brown wheelie bins for food waste and black wheelie bins for other rubbish. Batteries and ink cartridges can be recycled at designated spots around Dublin or in stationery shops like Easons.

In some parts of Dublin you can buy tags to mark different weights of rubbish to be taken away; this is useful for people who recycle a lot of their waste as you only pay for the non-recyclables. Tags can be bought in local shops. Large standing bins are found in car-parks and other public areas for recycling bottles of all sorts. You can often find clothes bins next to these – please wash clothes before putting in these bins.


Paying for water is an emotional issue in Ireland with water rate mini-wars often breaking out in urban areas. Up to December 2009 charges were only applied to commercial buildings. However the recent Budget indicates that domestic rates will be applied in 2010; this will set a free allocation for each house with charges to be levied on use over this limit.

Our Dublin Expert

Niamh's picture
Cork, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Niamh is a former expat now making a life back home in the leprechaun capital of the world: Dublin, Ireland. She's a writer...

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