Customers to pay less for their gas

Tony Nicholls of Manx Gas

Tony Nicholls of Manx Gas

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The price charged for gas in the Isle of Man is to drop.

Manx Gas today announced it was cutting tariffs by 3.5 per cent from New Year’s Day, which will result in its 24,500 customers seeing an immediate reduction in their winter gas bills.

‘We are delighted to be making this good news announcement at the start of the New Year and, coupled with the changes to standing charges, customers will benefit from lower winter bills,’ said Manx Gas managing director Tony Nicholls.

He added: ‘This is fantastic news for customers and there is the possibility of a further reduction when we undertake another review of tariffs in the second quarter of 2016. In addition, there will also be a regulatory adjustment in the second quarter which is also likely to be downward, meaning customers will again benefit from lower bills.’

Customers with central heating who on average use 10,000 kilowatts a year stand to save around £21.90 after VAT on their annual bill.

Mr Nicholls said the reduction in tariffs was under the terms of the regulatory agreement.

It was as recently as October that Manx Gas changed the structure of charges, resulting in 7,000 of its customers losing out.

It increased the standing charge then.

That led to a lot of criticism with the Office of Fair Trading taking a lot of flak for not being able to intervene.

Then the move was calculated to add a maximum of £25 to the average bill.

Manx Gas came under fire in May for scrapping the prompt payment discount for those who don’t pay by direct debit.

The OFT has welcomed today’s announcement.

OFT chairman David Quirk MHK said: ‘As I indicated in both Tynwald and the House of Keys, under the Regulatory Agreement Manx Gas provides us with quarterly management accounts which enable us to monitor progress against the acceptable level of profitability. As a result of the ensuing discussions, Manx Gas has decided that to meet its obligations under the Agreement, the company needs to reduce its prices.

‘This is exactly the way in which the Regulatory Agreement was designed to work; to benefit consumers. Having fixed Manx Gas profits at a fair level, consumers rather than shareholders will benefit from falling energy prices on the international markets’

Read more:

Read David Quirk’s justification of the OFT’s position with Manx Gas here.

Chris Thomas MHK criticises the situation

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