Water industry regulator Ofwat has fined utility company Thames Water just £1 after it found that the company misreported sewer flooding data back in 2010 which then impacted the amount that it charged customers.
Ofwat, who were formerly known as The Water Services Regulation Authority said in a statement that Thames Water had agreed to pay a fine of £86 million to customers and the communities that it operates in. However, out of that amount only £7 million will be given back to customers. £2 million will be put in a fund to help people who are struggling to pay their bills, whilst the remaining £5 million will support additional community projects such as river conservation efforts and improving the natural environment.
The majority of the fine (£79 million) will be used to reduce Thames’ regulatory capital value in order to ‘benefit customers for years to come’. The RCV is used to set bills so if this number is indeed reduced, consumer bills will be lower.
Ofwat has been considering fining Thames Water since the incident happened and last November, the company reported that it had set aside £14 million for the fine, which is now obviously an underestimation. At the time, Thames Water said all mistakes in its reporting between 2005-2010 have been rectified.