The island’s gas mains company says that its billing system is now working.

But customers are still waiting because there’s a backlog.

Isle of Man Energy, formerly Manx Gas, responded to inquiries from the Isle of Man Examiner about the issue after the Office of Fair Trading took the unusual step of asking people to report their problems with gas bills.

Hundreds of people have already complained to the government’s consumer watchdog about them.

Aidan Baglow, the managing director of Isle of Man Energy, told the Examiner: ‘Isle of Man Energy would like to reassure customers that the technical issues with our new billing system have now been rectified. We have recently completed an audit of our new system with external auditors, and we are pleased to say that there are no further issues.

‘As we have said previously, unfortunately there still is a backlog. We are focussed on resolving these historical billing queries as swiftly as we can and apologise for any delays experienced.

‘We are committed to ensuring that all our customers, especially those in a vulnerable position receive accurate bills and reiterate that if you have any outstanding questions, please contact Isle of Man Energy directly via our website.

‘Our teams are working hard to make sure your query will be answered by the appropriate team. Once again, we thank our customers for their patience while the backlog of queries is cleared.’

A series of Isle of Man Energy blunders have been highlighted in our newspapers in several stories in the last six months.

For example, the Manx Independent revealed that customer Gloria Ver Elst had had £64,601.19 taken from her bank account by the gas firm.

Now the OFT has issued a statement saying customers shouldn’t ‘suffer in silence’.

The OFT has received more than 300 complaints from Isle of Man Energy customers since September 2022, about a wide range of issues, including bills not being issued, inaccurate meter readings and problems with direct debits.

The OFT says it has been ‘actively engaging’ with the gas supplier to help those affected and a significant percentage of those helped have found a quick resolution.

However, for others it is taking considerably longer and some complainants are returning with different issues, such as bills that don’t add up.

John Wannenburgh MHK, chair of the OFT, said: ‘Considerable OFT resources have been committed to helping those who have reached out to us.

‘Whilst the situation appears to be improving, there is no room for complacency and we will continue to hold Isle of Man Energy to account.

‘We are particularly concerned about the more vulnerable customers who may be extremely worried about not being able to pay, charges attached to going overdrawn, or even being cut off due to missed payments. We urge people not to suffer in silence, but to get in touch.

‘The OFT will escalate all complaints by vulnerable gas customers to help protect them against unexpected bills, so they can keep up with their payment plans.’

The Examiner asked Isle of Man Energy whether heads would roll after customers suffered months of mistakes.

Mr Baglow didn’t answer that directly.

Instead, he said: ‘We had to modernise our billing system making sure we can provide the services we need for our customers now and in the future.

‘We fully acknowledge the issues around the changes; along with this we also saw a spike in meter readings as an impact of the price increases at the same time the new system was introduced.

‘This has led to a high volume of calls and queries into our customer services teams.

‘Our teams are working hard to ensure all these questions are being answered.

‘However, we completely understand the frustrations of our customers, but I want to reassure them that that the team is working as fast as possible to resolve these.

‘We have had no additional billing problems for several months, but we do have a backlog of customer queries which are resolving.’

People can get in touch with the OFT about their problems with gas bills by phoning 01624 686500 or emailing [email protected].