Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has said we need to keep some form of water charges to be fair to those who paid their bills.
The prospect of refunds has been raised after the expert water commission suggested that only those who are wasteful should be charged for their water.
TDs will soon be given their say on the proposals in the Dáil.
However, Minister Donohoe will not be asking for money to be handed back.
He said: "I will be voting for the principle of retaining some form of charges…I believe that's the only way of being fair to people who have paid."
Opponents of the charges say the commission's recommendations did not go far enough, and are planning more nationwide protests in the New Year.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said all parties needed to be prepared to reach a compromise on the issue.
"We need to sit down in a mature way and deliberate over the evidence...It isn’t those who shout loudest or who protest, who will determine (outcomes). It is the elected people on a balanced basis," he said.