Cold and hot: Thames Water blames downside leaks on the climate | Enterprise

Thames Water has warned that the summer time heatwave and the “beast from the east” chilly spell final winter delayed its progress on fixing leaks, because it reported a hunch in half-year income attributable to regulatory penalties.

Britain’s greatest water firm’s leakage efficiency really worsened, with 683m litres a day misplaced within the six months to 30 September, in contrast with 665m in the identical interval in 2017.

Thames Water stated income earlier than tax plunged to £67.7m, from £218.5m a yr earlier.

In June, the corporate was ordered to pay £65m again to prospects as a part of a £120m package deal of penalties after being castigated by the regulator, Ofwat, for its failure to sort out leaks.

Steve Robertson, the chief govt, stated: “Our revenue decreased over the interval as we introduced ahead regulatory penalties, to profit prospects, and employed extra staff to enhance customer support and sort out leakage. Our capital funding elevated, with £554m spent on bettering our water and waste networks.”

The agency blamed the rise in leakage to the freeze thaw following the chilly snap, and the extended heatwave over the summer time, which elevated demand for water by 17%. It stated it mounted 1,431 leaks per week, its finest efficiency in a decade, and up 37% year-on-year.

Battling to repair leaks to keep away from additional penalties, the corporate stated it has put in 26,987 leak-detecting acoustic loggers and put in an additional 44,105 good water meters, which may also help pinpoint leaks. It additionally employed 600 additional full-time engineers and customer support workers, on high of its 6,000-strong workforce.

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the corporate stated it’s investing £60m in IT techniques to enhance efficiency and customer support, with a brand new billing system launched this month. Itclaimed its Cayman Islands entities are near being closed.

The agency’s plan is to cut back leaks by 15%, as demanded by Ofwat as much as 2025, and reduce air pollution incidents by 18%. Nonetheless, air pollution incidents rose to 217 within the six-month interval, from 202 a yr earlier.

Final yr, Thames Water was fined a file £20.3m after enormous leaks of untreated sewage into the Thames and its tributaries and on to land, which killed birds and fish.

The corporate has paid no company tax for a decade as a result of its funds are deferred whereas it makes main investments in infrastructure.

Thames Water stated it could not pay any dividends to shareholders till 2020-21 earlier than resuming funds of £20m a yr between 2020 and 2025.

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