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Thames Water wants to introduce one-off charge to customers
WATER customers in parts of north Hampshire face being hit with a one-off charge of £29 under plans announced this week.
Thames Water, which serves customers in the north of the borough, has applied to industry regulator Ofwat to make a one-off adjustment to its agreed tariff.
The change would see customers pay an additional £29 per household in 2014-15, although the company has asked if this could be spread over more than one year.
The company says the money will be used to cover the cost of infrastructure, such as buying land for the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a new sewer designed to tackle overflow problems on Victorian sewers in London.
Stuart Siddall, chief financial officer for Thames Water, said: “These significant costs could not be quantified at the beginning of the current pricing period, and their scale is unique to Thames Water’s operations, project commitments and catchment area.
“Increasing prices is never good news, which is why the company and its shareholders are encouraging Ofwat to adapt its regulatory mechanism to allow the impact of the price increase to be spread over more than one year to avoid a spike in bills for our customers.”
The current average household bill for Thames Water customers is £354 a year.
But Ofwat has indicated that it will challenge the proposal.
Regina Finn, Ofwat chief executive, said: “We will challenge these proposals and question the company strongly on their reasons. Proposed increases will only be allowed if they are fully justified.”
Ofwat expects to make its final decision by November 2013, and any revision to price limits would not affect customers’ bills before April 2014.
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