Thames Water pays £86M for mis-reporting sewer flood risk
Thames Water will pay a package of £86M for mis-reporting the number of properties at high risk of sewer flooding between 2005 and 2010. The company has committed to a £79M reduction in its regulatory capital value (RCV), and return £7M to customers and the community.
Under the terms of the settlement, Thames will put £2M into its independently managed Thames Water Trust Fund to help customers who are having difficulty paying their bills; and invest £5M to support additional community projects such as local programmes to better protect rivers and improve the natural environment.
Ofwat said it welcomed Thames’s "recognition of the problem and a commitment to put it right by returning money to 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."
A statement from Thames Water said: “We made a mistake in some of our 2009-10 sewer flooding statistics. Ofwat agree that this was not deliberate and we are pleased they have accepted our package of measures in response. This is a positive result for our customers, communities and the environment.”
Ofwat's investigation found that more properties were recorded as at high risk of sewer flooding than there was evidence to support, which may have led to 'poorly targeted and inefficient spending' of customers’ money. But the regulator said there was no evidence of deliberate misreporting.
It also recognised that between 2005 and 2010, Thames spent an additional £20M of its own money to help deal with sewer flooding problems, and which not come out of customers’ bills.
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