Contracts will be awarded to three companies next month to install water meters throughout Ireland, according to Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
The three companies will cover a total of eight regions between them: North West, West, South West, North East, County Dublin, Dublin City, Midlands and South East.
A spokesperson for Irish Water said the installation programme will run until the end of 2016, involving over one million meters or an average of 27,000 per month.
Water charges are due to be introduced in January 2015.
The amount per household has not been revealed, but residents in Scotland pay an average of €380 a year.
A Water Forum conference today heard that Scottish Water levies a charge according to the size of the house, but by investing in infrastructure it has reduced the leakage rate from 45% in 2007 to 22% at present.
Minister Hogan said the Government is committed to both individual metering and upgrading the network.
He said private investors will be sought to meet the cost of meeting EU standards in the water supply, which the conference heard will be €1bn a year.
Mr Hogan said the service will remain in public ownership.