Thames Water's debt crisis deepens, huge bill hikes loom

Customers of troubled utility firm Thames Water face potential bill increases of up to 40% as the company grapples with a £15bn debt mountain and ballooning interest payments.

Thames Water's debt crisis deepens, huge bill hikes loom
Thames Water

Thames Water confirmed a £500m funding injection from shareholders expected this month will not materialise.

Chief Executive Chris Weston told Sky News the company requires £20bn investment from 2025-2030 to upgrade infrastructure and meet customer demands for clean water and environmental protection.

This massive spending would require bill hikes of around 40%, a bitter pill for households already squeezed by the cost-of-living crisis. Weston acknowledged the increase "could be very, very difficult" but said support for vulnerable customers is being explored.

Thames Water had sought regulatory leniency from Ofwat, including easing capital spending requirements and upcoming penalties. However, nine shareholders blamed Ofwat for failing to "provide the necessary regulatory support" for a turnaround plan.

The debt-laden firm faces intense scrutiny over leaks, pollution, executive pay and shareholder dividends paid despite dismal performance. Ofwat warned Thames Water must "pursue all options" to raise further equity and improve for customers.

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