John Tierney said recent experience with the Household Charge and the Local Property Tax had shown the majority of people would pay a new charge.
He made his comments at the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual water conference in Galway this morning.
Mr Tierney would not be drawn on what the average cost per home would be.
There would be an independent decision made by the regulator following a robust consultation process, he said.
Metering is a fair way for people to control the amount they pay through their usage, he added.
The first phase of the process will involve the installation of 1.05 million meters on footpaths outside individual properties.
Investigations are ongoing as to how apartment blocks will be metered.
He also told the conference that Irish Water would not and must not be privatised in future.
Delegates heard the monies generated would be used to leverage funding for capital investment and that it was vital it remained within the State sector.
Mr Tierney said that one of the biggest reasons for setting up the company was to try to get a proper level of funding into the system.
There has only been “five good years of capital investment” in over 130 years of delivering water services in Ireland, he said.
Mr Tierney said while there was plenty of water in Ireland it was costly to turn this into a potable supply.
But he expressed hope that the investments that would be made by Irish Water would provide significant potential for the economy to attract investment in future.