Ofwat, the industry regulator, has rejected an attempt by Thames Water to add an extra £29 on customers’ water bills next year.
Ofwat says that Thames Water, which serves about 14 million customers, including the Marlborough area, could only justify a bill increase of around £7 but that this would not be imposed on customers.
Thames Water applied in August for a one-off price rise that would raise average bills of £354 by eight per cent, blaming customers struggling to pay their bills and the cost of a super sewer under London as the reason.
But in a draft ruling the regulator declares it was unconvinced by the company’s calculations on bad debts, slashing the firm’s assessment of £75 million of extra costs due to “additional deprivation” to just £13 million.
Ofwat’s chief regulation officer Sonia Brown points out: “We have looked at the details and do not believe the current evidence justifies an increase in bills.”