Thames Water News Update: 12% Unscheduled Price Increase Request

12% price increase for thames water customers

Thames Water news update: the utilities company have announced that millions of their customers will face a once only 12% price increase on their bills.

The price increase comes in response to the proposed ‘super sewer’, the construction of which is due to start in spring 2014 but also to the sharp increase in the number of unpaid bills the company are left with on a monthly basis.

The final decision lies in the hands of impartial regulator Ofwat but Thames Water’s request to them to allow the utilities company the £29 plus inflation price increase to help them raise £165 million from businesses and households in and around London and the Thames Valley. This rise, in addition to the 1.4% rise that was already intended for next year, will see bills rise from the average costs of £354 to £396. The utilities company have said that they would rather be proposing to have the cost be rolled out over a few years rather than all at once but they have clearly not managed to orchestrate this.

News on Thames Water

While it has been reiterated that the reasoning behind these rises is the £4bn Thames Tideway Tunnel ‘Super Sewer’ project scheduled for next year, there is no denying that the sudden spike (50%) in the number of unpaid bills the company have seen have also impacted on the company’s decision. The numbers are approximately 200000 of their 6million customers have left their bills unpaid since the beginning of the recession – and Thames Water have no legal clout.

Thames Water paid almost £92 million to their private equity owners in 2012 and this has caused watchdogs to respond with anger to these price increase proposals. They have also been found to be one of the countless companies caught up in the corporation tax scandal – not paying despite making £150 million in profits.

Many other utilities companies have managed to take the impact of the same implications without having to increase their prices and the Consumer Council for instance have declared that they think Thames Water should be able to do the same.

Thames Water News Update

Customers have seen their water bills treble since the service was privatised in 1989 and it has been proven that water companies are now making comfortable profits and outstrip energy suppliers’ profits by a country mile. Every five years the Ofwat set the residential prices for water bills, the current cycle is three years in with the next one beginning in 2015.

Regulators Ofwat have claimed that on 13 other occasions water companies have requested a once only price increase – the most recent was in 2008 where Sutton and East Surrey were denied their request for an 11% increase.

The final decision on Thames Water and their request will come in November 2013. If you are an existing customer and are concerned about any of the topics discussed in this piece, contact the Thames Water customer services department directly via the following link:

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