Fears over potential Thames Water price hike

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A watchdog has expressed concern about potential price rises that could be introduced by Thames Water.

The Consumer Council for Water said the company should protect customers from price rises, although it did welcome a planned £80 million investment in services.

The investment will be used to improve the company’s water and sewer network, install smart meters for large business customers and improve the management of customers’ debt.

However, Thames Water has claimed it may need to apply to the industry regulator Ofwat to hike its charges next year to recover additional costs.

Sir Tony Redmond, the watchdog’s London and south east chair, said: “We welcome Thames Water’s decision to share some of its financial success with customers.

“However we would like to see the company go further and protect its customers from another price increase.

“Many other water companies have shared their profits and have absorbed costs that Thames say they are facing and they have done so without applying for a further price increase.

“We would like to see Thames do the same.”

The consumer council said seven out of ten Thames Water customers told them their current water and sewerage bill is affordable, mirroring the number of customers who say the company provides value for money.