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Help available to those struggling with energy bills

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Gas customers facing disconnection or financial challenges are being advised to contact the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading’s free and confidential debt counselling service.   

If disconnected or at risk, customers can authorise an experienced debt counsellor to engage with Isle of Man Energy on their behalf. The counsellor will compile a financial statement based on the customer’s income and expenditure with a view to reaching a suitable agreement with the supplier.

The process can take up to several weeks, so customers are recommended to contact the service as soon as possible.    

For those who are in receipt of benefits, it may be possible to have money deducted from their benefits at regular intervals, with the funds directed towards settling energy bills.

Householders experiencing difficulty paying their heating bills can also make use of the Government’s Energy Efficiency Scheme.

The scheme is open to any Island resident who owns a home or rents, either through a private landlord or social housing. It provides simple but effective energy efficiency items worth up to £750 free to eligible households. 

An Energy Doctor Service is now being offered under the scheme, providing free home health checks to help householders implement practical measures to enhance energy efficiency and lower their bills. Subject to an eligibility criteria, free energy efficiency items can be provided. 

Tim Glover MHK, Chairman of the OFT, said:

‘The OFT is working with Isle of Man Energy to triage complaints related to disconnections. Whilst we acknowledge Isle of Man Energy’s agreement to suspend disconnections in the lead up to Christmas, this is only a temporary measure and householders should be aware they will have to pay for any gas they use going forward, along with any money already owed.

‘I strongly encourage householders to utilise the help available through the Debt Counselling Service and the Energy Efficiency Scheme. The aim of OFT is to offer support, help and direction. Ultimately, we will endeavour to get you in a position where you can feel confident in managing your finances.’