Thames proposes 11% rise in customer bills to fund Tideway Tunnel
Thames Water is seeking an 11% increase in customer water bills between 2015 and 2020 to help pay for the proposed Thames Tideway Tunnel. The company, which has submitted its price proposals to regulator Ofwat, said that while average water bills will decline between 2015 and 2020, an increase of £8 above inflation for each of the five years to fund the development.
The company is the only one out of all the water utilities not to hold or cut prices in real terms, and the move comes just weeks after Ofwat rejected Thames' proposed plan to increase water bills by £29 in 2014/15.
Thames Water wants to deliver £5.1B of investment between 2014 and 2020 for improvements to pipes and sewers, as well as the £2.8B Tideway Tunnel.
Martin Baggs, CEO at Thames Water, said work to maintain and upgrade the company's existing network and services will be done with "bills no higher, at today's prices. Building the tunnel, however, will require increases of £8 above inflation for each of the five years from 2015".
He said the water and sewerage infrastructures urgently needs upgrading and Thames has invested £1B every year on this work. But there is a lot more that needs to be done, he added.
Thames Water's five-year plan includes:
- Fitting smart meters to locate leaks and encourage customers to save water
- Introduce a social tariff to halve household bills
- Reduce flood risk
- Improve reliability at large water treatment works
- Reduce the amount of water taken from rivers
- Investigate reducing groundwater entering sewers
- Improve pipes and pumps to keep pace with population growth
- Water has better public image than other utilities, survey finds Water companies enjoy a better reputation with the public than other utilities, yet lag behind other large companies that... Read More >
- Tropical seeds top chemical treatment, say researchers Seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree could be used to purify water in large water treatment plants in the UK, according to... Read More >
- Ofwat consults on water company annual performance reports Ofwat has launched a new consultation on proposed changes to the Annual Performance Reports water companies are required... Read More >
- Changing the way water utilities think George Hesmondhalgh, managing consultant at Capgemini, says companies need to stop viewing legislation as an obligation... Read More >
- The price of water As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Robin Hackett looks at whether low water bills can be maintained long term Read More >
- Scottish Water starts planning for the long term For SR21, Scottish Water is moving away from the traditional approach to business plans and developing a blueprint for the... Read More >
- Football teams and water companies: Closer than you think New season, new league, new challenges... Egremont Group's Owen Quinn and Alex Graham on the parallels between football... Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >