Thames Water plans 10% bill rise

Thames Water plans to raise bills by more than 10% above the cost of inflation over a five-year period.

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Customers can monitor bills for 2 years before switching

Thames Water say its impossible to generalise about whether a family will be better or worse off on a meter Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive

Thames Water say its not possible to generalise about whether a family would be better or worse off on a meter.

The company says that customers won't be moved on to a metered account until two years after the new system has been activated. During that time they will still be able to monitor their usage on a daily basis and get price comparison bills before switch-over.

Work out how your bills may change here.

Thames Water customers can find out more information about metering here.

Thames Water hopes metered customers will value water more and use less

Thames Water want 100% of its customers to be on meters by 2030 Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Around 30% of Thames Water customers are on meters and the company wants that to be 100% by 2030, starting in Bexley.

Thames Water says it hopes the scheme will encourage its customers to be more water-efficient. It says the new technology allows customers to monitor what they use and research shows metered customers tend to use water more sparingly.

It says London has less rainfall than Istanbul, only half as much as Sydney, yet one of the highest individual levels of water consumption in the UK.

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Offences included working without permit

Thames Water were fined for the following offences:

  • Euston Road - for breach of permit conditions: £1,600
  • Millbank - for working without a permit and three failures to notify offences: £5,600
  • Camberwell New Road - for breach of permit conditions and a failure to notify offence: £3,200
  • Upper Clapton Road - for breach of permit conditions and a failure to notify offence: £3,200

£13,600 bill for nine offences

The water company was fined £13,600 for nine offences earlier this year Credit: Thames Water

Westminster Magistrate’s Court fined Thames Water £13,600 following a guilty plea to nine offences in four locations earlier this year.

The prosecution is the latest in a series of successful prosecutions by Transport for London in its bid to reduce unnecessary roadworks and improve traffic flow.

How well is London's water being managed?

With the average Londoner using 167 litres of water each day managing London's water is a major challenge. The London Assembly's Environment Committee will discuss how this is achieved with Richard Aylard, External Affairs and Sustainability Director of Thames Water.

Also on the agenda will be longer-term water management plans, such as what steps are being taken to improve water efficiency in the capital's homes and businesses, and to manage rainwater drainage, including the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Assembly Members will also question the company about its future plans, given that its proposal to increase bills for 2014/15 by about £29 on average has now been rejected by Ofwat.

Water bills could still go up despite OFWAT rejection

  • Regulator, OFWAT says in order to justify a price rise, Thames Water has to provide evidence that higher costs warrant bill increases of £9 or more
  • OFWAT says the company's current application falls below this level this threshold, with evidence of a £7 increase in bills
  • But, it could still mean a bill increase of at least £9 next year if Thames Water submits sufficient fresh evidence to tip it over the threshold

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Regulator slashes Thames Water's assessment of extra costs

In its draft ruling today OFWAT said:

  • It was unconvinced by the company's calculations on bad debts
  • OFWAT slashed Thames Water's assessment of £75 million of extra costs to just £13 million
  • The regulator will make its final ruling early next month

Thames Water says its biggest cost is the £273 million spent acquiring land for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The company part of the proposed price rise is accounted for by increases in bad debt - when customers fail to pay their bills - due to the economic downturn.

Thames Water price rise is rejected by the regulator

Thames Water's attempt to add an extra £29 on customers' water bills next year has been rejected by the industry regulator, OFWAT.

OFWAT says it does not believe the figures justify an increase in bills
OFWAT says it does not believe the figures justify an increase in bills Credit: Press Association

Thames Water applied in August for a one-off price increase next year that would raise average bills by 8%. The company said the rise was necessary to pay for the costs of customers struggling to pay their bills, and the cost of a super sewer under London.

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