A director of Manx Utilities has told a Tynwald committee that the authority would like a better relationship with Isle of Man Energy.

Finance director Simon Clague described the relationship between the two as less than ideal.

This comes after tension between the organisations when the Manx Utilities Authority refused to forward-buy gas for Isle of Man Energy, known as ‘hedging’, because of overdue invoices and a lack of financial information from group formerly known as Manx Gas.

The Manx Utilities Authority is the state-owned power and water provider.

During the sitting of the economic policy review committee, Mr Clague was asked why Isle of Man Energy’s hedging request was turned down.

Mr Clague said: ‘Due to a combination of the volume of gas they would have been purchasing in advance over the winter and the price they were asking us to buy it as, we were concerned about their financial position.

‘We asked for information on their financial position, a request that we felt was reasonable, which they chose not to supply.’

He added: ‘Subsequent to that, the committee is probably aware that from Christmas through to Easter they chose not to pay us, so some of our concerns around their financial position would seem to have been reasonable, although we have no other information aside from their non-payment to support that.’

Mr Clague reported that since Easter Isle of Man Energy had largely brought its account back up to date, and their payments have been timely.

He said: ‘In terms of a wider commercial relationship, given that they are one of our biggest customers and I would say we are probably one of their biggest suppliers, it would be nice to have a better working relationship than we currently do.’

The Manx Independent contacted Isle of Man Energy for a response but we had not received one by the time we went to press.