'Disappointment' as Thames Water asks to raise bills
Thames Water has asked its regulator, Ofwat, for permission to raise prices.
It wants to put up bills by about £29 per household during 2014-15, but has asked Ofwat if it can spread the rise over more than one year.
The company says the rise is needed because of increases in Environment Agency charges and to cover the cost of preparing for the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Ofwat will examine the proposal and make a decision in three months.
Sir Tony Redmond from the Consumer Council for Water said one in seven people "are already struggling to pay their bills" and debt would only increase if bills were to go up.
"This is something that should be shared between both shareholder and customer."
"The Consumer Council for Water is not aware of any other company planning to make such an application [to increase bills]", he added.