Isle of Man Energy was late in paying 88% of invoices for the purchase of gas from Manx Utilities over the past year.

No fewer than 22 out of the 25 invoices were paid late.

Figures on invoice payments were released by Manx Utilities chairman Tim Crookall in a written answer to Tynwald question from Rushen MHK, Speaker Juan Watterson.

Mr Watterson asked what the payment terms are for the sale of gas to Isle of Man Energy and on how many occasions in the last 12 months payment had been late.

He also questioned how many days late each invoice was paid and whether the authority had at any point instituted proceedings for the collection of debt.

Mr Crookall replied that during the period from September 1 last year to the end of August this year Manx Utilities issued 25 invoices to Isle of Man Energy and 22 of these invoices were paid late, although nine of these were paid within five days after their due date.

The longest time it took for Isle of Man Energy to pay an invoice was 67 days.

Mr Crookall said Manx Utilities had instructed the Attorney General’s Chambers to issue letters before claim relating to invoices on six occasions, covering 10 invoices.

He said claim forms were issued by the High Court on four occasions, covering seven invoices.

Mr Crookall said currently no invoices issued to Manx Gas are overdue.

Isle of Man Energy, formerly Manx Gas, has rarely been out of the headlines over the last 12 months.

A new billing system caused a major headache for the company and led a to deluge of complaints from customers. These involved widely inaccurate bills being sent out or no bills being sent out at all, leaving customers having to pay a large outstanding sum when the invoice finally arrived. In one case just under £65,000 was wrongly withdrawn in direct debit by the company.

Hundreds of complaints were made to the watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading, when it was called in to help resolve billing issues.