Tuesday 26 March 2019 8:10 pm

Thames Water unveils £1bn tech investment in bid to boost efficiency

Thames Water has unveiled plans to invest £1bn in new technology for its water and waste operations in a bid to boost efficiency by 20 per cent.

The investment, which will be rolled out over the next six years, will help boost the utility company’s data management for a range of issues such as fixing leaks and getting customers to reduce their consumption.

Read more: Extreme weather puts the pressure on Thames Water as profits plunge

John Beaumont, Thames Water chief digital officer, said: “This is a landmark and transformative moment in our company’s rich history, taking the old and making it fit for the future.

“We’re doing this by building a digital-first water company that will deliver an ever-improving service for our customers and dramatically boost efficiency across the board.”

The move comes after Thames Water was hit with a £65m fine by regulator Ofwat last year after an investigation found the firm had failed to adequately control leaks.

The company has already launched a new app, which helps engineers locate and resolve issues such as burst pipes.

The investment will also help fund a new customer care platform and the installation of 700,000 domestic smart meters to help people control their usage.

Read more: Ofwat pours cold water on providers' business plans

The UK’s largest water and waste company said the funding forms part of its five-year business plan to tackle the challenges of population growth and climate change.

But an initial review by Ofwat earlier this year slammed Thames Water's five-year plan, saying it fell “significantly short” of the regulator's view of cost-efficiency.