Investigation into whether Thames Water is contravening obligations in its Licence and the Wholesale Retail Code

Case summary

We are investigating whether certain of the data about customers that Thames Water made available to retailers at the time of the opening of the business retail market in April 2017 was accurate. We are also considering whether Thames Water had and has in place appropriate management resources and systems of planning and internal control to ensure that it is able to carry out its regulated activities.

Specifically, we are considering whether Thames Water has breached and/or is in breach of:

  • Condition R2 (as was) of its Licence, by failing to ensure that the data that it collected and uploaded into the business retail market systems (CMOS) ahead of market opening was sufficiently accurate to enable the effective functioning of the business retail market;
  • the requirements of the Market Terms of the Wholesale Retail Code, by failing to maintain accurate data and correct known data errors within CMOS; and
  • Condition P (previously Condition F) of its Licence, by failing to ensure that it has in place adequate management resources and systems of planning and internal control to enable it to carry out its regulated activities.

The issues considered by this investigation had previously formed part of our Competition Act 1998 (“CA98”) investigation into Thames Water, but we no longer consider that the CA98 is the most appropriate tool to investigate and address these issues.

Date opened

24 November 2020

Relevant powers

Sections 18-22A, 66DA and 117F of the Water Industry Act 1991

Status

Open

Process

Under sections 18-22A of the Act, if as a result of our analysis we consider that Thames Water is breaching the requirements of its Licence and that the breach is not trivial, we have a duty to issue an enforcement order requiring it to take such steps as are necessary to end its breach. In addition, where we are satisfied that Thames Water has contravened or is contravening its Licence, we may impose a financial penalty.

Under sections 66DA(4) and 117F(4) of the Act, if as a result of our analysis we consider that Thames Water is not complying with the Wholesale Retail Code, we may give it a direction to take specific action to bring itself back into compliance.

Enquiries

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