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Electricity bill debt triples

Total number of debtors up by more than 1,000 compared to March last year

The amount of money Manx Utilities customers owe on their electricity bills has more than tripled over the last three years.

Figures released by the authority show there were almost £3.4m in unpaid electricity bills in July, up from just under £950,000 in 2019.

In response to a Freedom of Information request submitted by Manx Radio, Manx Utilities has revealed the total value of debtors' balances stood at £4,873,794 in July, with more than two thirds of that debt made up by electricity customers.

As well as £3,356,730 in electricity debt, July's figures also showed almost £17,000 in sewerage debt, more than £340,000 in water debt and £1.16m in other debt.

Electricity debt has continued to rise each year since the end of the 2018-2019 financial year, but overall debt peaked in March 2022, when a total of £9.2m was owed to Manx Utilities.

July's overall figure is also the lowest this year, dropping from almost £7.3m in June.

The amount of rates debt owed to Treasury by Manx Utilities customers has also been climbing.

In March 2019, £184,033 of sewerage rates and almost £970,000 in water rates were owed, but in March this year those figures had risen to almost £960,000 for sewerage and £1.48m for water.

Meanwhile, the total number of customers in arrears has risen by more than 1,000 since March last year.

The end of the 2021-22 financial period saw 1,427 customers owing money to Manx Utilities, but as of July that figure stood at 2,488.

Manx Radio also asked for the figures to be split into domestic and commercial customers, but Manx Utilities said this would require further analysis.

Manx Utilities says is does offer support to customers, including managing payment plans and using flexible ways to pay.

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