Thames Water has agreed to pay a package worth £86 million to customers after it mis-reported sewer flooding data.
Regulator Ofwat said the water firm over-represented the number of properties at high risk of sewer flooding in 2010 with no supporting evidence, leading to “poorly targeted and inefficient spending of customers’ money”.
Under the terms of the settlement, Thames Water has agreed to a £79 million reduction of its regulatory capital value (RCV) – a key measure of which levels of billing to customers are based. Ofwat said this would ultimately lead to lower bills for the water firm’s 14 million customers.
It will also give back £7 million to support schemes helping customers who have difficulty paying their bills and community programmes to better protect rivers and improve the environment.
“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,” Thames Water said in a statement.
Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat added: “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.”
Last year, the regulator rejected Thames Water’s attempt to increase customers’ bills by 8% this financial year.