AROUND 9,200 gas customers are poised to enjoy a welcome New Year cut of up to £337 a year on their bills.
But 14,500 households in Douglas and Onchan will face the prospect of forking out an extra £24 a year on average for their gas.
The new all-island central heating tariff was unveiled on Tuesday as Manx Gas prepared to complete the final stage of its exhaustive natural gas conversion project, in Ballaugh.
And project boss Aidan Baglow, 42, revealed that not only has the scheme been completed bang on target to the day but it has been done under budget.
A sum of £23 million was initially set for the two year conversion but in the end it cost £19.5 million. Mr Baglow said: ‘The project has brought natural gas to 6,700 additional customers in the north, south and west of the island.
‘This project has been several years in the planning and two years in the execution and this week in Ballaugh we finish our very last conversion sector on Friday. It’s been a very successful and large infrastructure project for the island on behalf of the Isle of Man Government that owns the cross island pipeline that serves these customers.
‘The project has been delivered safely on time and on budget for our customers and we’re delighted with that. It’s been very very different from the experience in Douglas in 2003. We’ve focused completely on delivering this to customers. We’ve had a dedicated customer support unit and support team.
‘The introduction of an all-island central heating tariff will bring a bit of equity to the island’s central heating market. Which means that everyone pays the same for their central heating regardless of where they live in the island.’
He explained that prior to the project customers who were served by LPG or Towns Gas paid ‘considerably more’ for their fuel than customers who were on natural gas. That will now be equalised from January.
He said: ‘It means people in Douglas will have to pay a small amount more, equivalent to around a £24 a year rise for the average customer.
‘But for the 6,700 customers who have had their gas conversions it means a significant decrease in the region of £240 to £337 a year.’
The same decrease will also apply to 2,500 customers still on LPG and those using mini bulk tank and cylinder heating, explained Mr Baglow.
• Read more on this in Monday’s Isle of Man Examiner