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Thames Water to pay £86 million to customers

05 June 2014

Thames Water has agreed to pay a package worth £86 million to customers and the communities it serves, following Ofwat’s investigation into the company’s reporting of sewer flooding data in 2010.

Thames has committed to a reduction in its regulatory capital value (RCV) of £79 million, which will benefit customers for years to come. Thames will also give back £7 million to customers and the community.

Thames Water has agreed to: putting an additional £2 million into its independently managed Thames Water Trust Fund, to assist customers who are having difficulty paying their bills; invest £5 million to support additional community projects such as local programmes to better protect rivers and improve the natural environment; and accept a reduction of £79 million from its RCV. This will result in lower bills for Thames’ 14 million sewerage customers for years to come.

Ofwat’s investigation related to Thames misreporting the number of properties at high risk of sewer flooding between 2005 and 2010. This meant that more properties were recorded as at high risk of sewer flooding than there was evidence to support. The misreporting may have led to poorly targeted and inefficient spending of customers’ money.

However Ofwat says there was no evidence of deliberate misreporting. It is satisfied that Thames Water’s approach did not put any homes at risk of sewer flooding and that its programme did reduce the risk of sewer flooding at the homes of a large number of its customers.

Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat said: ‘We welcome Thames’s co-operative approach which means we have concluded our investigation more quickly and resulted in a better outcome for customers.

‘We are satisfied that Thames has put right the problems that caused the misreporting. It’s only fair that when companies make mistakes, they put it right and make sure customers are not out of pocket.’

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