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Frequently asked Questions

Electricity

In October 2018 Tynwald agreed our new pricing strategy for April 2019. The rebalancing of water and sewage charges and inflation only increases for water, sewage and electricity for domestic customers over the next five years.

Electricity prices will be stabilised and only increased by the annual rate of inflation (CPI).  The strategy will see charges and costs established for a five year period and include obligations on us to continue to deliver efficiencies and cost-effective services.  The strategy is consistent with Government’s social, economic and environmental policies and we are committed to working with Government to support low and middle-income households who will not be disadvantaged by these changes.

Do I have to pay the standing charge if I am not using the electricity as the property is empty?

The Standing Charge recovers the costs of a number of our business activities including metering, billing and settlement as well as the ongoing costs of providing a reliable electrical connection to your property.

The charge remains applicable as long as the property remains connected to our distribution network. 

You can formally request for the service to be disconnected.  However, if you would like to be reconnected in the future then completion of our on-line application form is required together with payment of an upfront reconnection fee of £40 to cover re-instating the electrical connection to the property.

How can I make savings against my bills? 

We offer prompt payment discount of 1%, additionally customers who pay by direct debit will receive a discount of £1 per bill and E-billing will also attract a discount of 50p per bill. Further savings can be made by being on the most appropriate tariff.  

We also provide a free of charge energy efficiency advice to help avoid excessive electricity consumption.  The services of our Home Energy Officer is available free of charge. We can visit your home to provide practical advice and tips on how to reduce your electricity bills. More importantly we can provide a clear understanding about your electrical running costs so that you can feel confident that any lifestyle changes you need to make will deliver cost savings.

Call our Home Energy Officer on +44 1624 687643 or +44 7624 451949.

Who can apply for the Sustainable Generation tariff?

The Sustainable Generation tariff is open to all our Domestic and Commercial customers who wish to install their own green generation systems such as a micro-wind turbine or photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and connect to our network.  

To qualify, the renewable energy system would need to comply with relevant technical standards before permission is formally granted to connect to our grid. This tariff is a supplement to our existing tariffs and is aimed to support renewable energy schemes around the Island.  

We expect our Sustainable Generation tariff will encourage both growth in the level of zero-carbon generation on the Island and indirectly support the adoption of more environmentally friendly forms of heating and transport such as heat pumps and electric vehicles. We envisage increased interest in our low carbon heating solutions such as heat pumps whose running costs are more competitive with current natural gas costs on the Island and the increasing cost of heating oil.  Government statistics on relative heating fuel costs  - clearly demonstrate this cost advantage.  Heat pump customers will be eligible for the Comfy Heat tariff which uncorporates a low off-peak unit electricity rate.

For customers interested in purchasing a Plug-In electric vehicle, we can offer an EV tariff which provides electricity at a competitive night-time rate - (midnight - 7am).

Please contact 687623 in the first instance if you wish to discuss further the practicalities and true running costs of either heat pumps or electric vehicles and you will be directed to a knowledgeable engineer to help you decide on your potential purchase.

Water

In October 2018 Tynwald agreed our new pricing strategy for April 2019. The rebalancing of water and sewage charges and inflation only increases for water, sewage and electricity for domestic customers over the next five years.

Rebalancing of water and sewerage charges will reduce water rates and increase sewerage rates to better reflect the cost of delivering these services. 

Whilst the independent report recommended that the current 50% discount for non-domestic rates is removed, we are instead implementing a much more gradual reduction of 5% per year to 25%.  

Do I have to pay the water rate?

Water rates are applied to every household where there is a connection to the public water supply.

The domestic rate for 2019/20 has been rebalanced at £2.355 and is charged against the rateable value of your property for example, a property with a rateable value of £120 will face an annual water charge of £282.60 which if paid before 30 June 2019 will benefit from an early payment discount of 5% resulting in a net charge of £268.47. 

Non-domestic customers whose water supplies are metered will be charged at £1.480 per cubic metre from 1 April 2019. Where the total cubic value exceeds the minimum rateable value.

My property is empty; do I still have to pay the standard water charge?

The charge is applied under Isle of Man Rating legislation which applies a valuation to a property if it is capable of beneficial occupation, not whether it is occupied or not.  Connections to our infrastructure network cannot readily be connected and disconnected pending on whether a property is occupied and it is appropriate that charges continue to be levied if the service provision remains available for use, whether the property is occupied or not.  If you do not believe your property is able to be occupied (for example, poor state of repair or on-going building works) then you should contact the Rating Valuation Office on 685636 or email [email protected] for further advice.

My property is still being built/undergoing extensive refurbishment; do I still have to pay the charge? 

If your property is new and not yet complete or undergoing extensive refurbishment you should contact the Rating Valuation Office on 685636 or email [email protected] for further advice.  

My property is a commercial premise; will I have to pay the full rate? 

No, the majority of commercial premises including factories, garages, cinemas, and theatres for example will benefit from a 45% reduction to their relevant water rate.

If you believe your property should be exempt from water charges altogether, please contact our Customer Services Team on +44 1624 687675 or email [email protected]. You can write to us at, Customer Services, Manx Utilities, PO Box 177, Douglas, IM99 1PS.

My property has a water meter; how is my charge calculated? 

Water meters are read twice a year and bills issued following each reading.  The amount of the bill is the greater of the value of water consumed and the Water Rate that would be charge if the property didn't have a meter. 

Can I have a water meter fitted at my house?

We examine the option of domestic water metering each year. We have discounted it in the short term given the considerable financial costs that would be incurred by installing over 45,000 water meters for all our domestic customers. This programme would inevitably lead to additional fixed water charges for everyone. We will continue to annually review the viability of metering water for domestic customers.

I pay additional water charges  due to having a full or short licence is this likely to change?

As part of the rebalancing strategy, we are reducing this fee over the next five years.  For 2109/20 it is 78p multiplied by the rateable value of the property.  By March 2024 the charge will be removed entirely.

Sewerage

In October 2018 Tynwald agreed our new pricing strategy for April 2019. The rebalancing of water and sewage charges and inflation only increases for water, sewage and electricity for domestic customers over the next five years.

Rebalancing of water and sewerage charges will reduce water rates and increase sewerage rates to better reflect the cost of delivering these services. 

Whilst sewage charges will go up rebalancing will mean that most households will be paying the same as before and necessary future price increases can be smoothed out to avoid any financial shocks.  The principles of the pricing strategy also provide greater transparency, fairness and protection for customers.

Do I have to pay the Sewerage Rate? 

You are liable to pay the Sewerage Rate if your property is connected, directly or indirectly, to a public sewer into which you discharge waste water from any source e.g. roof drainage, sinks, baths, showers, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets etc. 

The rate for 2019/20 has been rebalanced at £2.150 and is charged against the rateable value of your property. For example, a property with a rateable value of £120 will face an annual sewerage charge of £258 which if paid before 30 June 2019 will benefit from an early payment discount of 5% resulting in a net charge of £245.10.

I have a septic tank, so do I have to pay a Sewerage Rate as well as my bill for septic tank emptying?

You will not have to pay the Sewerage Rate as well as the charge for septic tank emptying.  Properties not connected to the sewerage infrastructure are not subject to a Sewerage Rate. 

Will I be charged a septic tank fee every year? 

The fee for emptying a septic tank applies only when the tank is emptied at your request.  There may be additional charges for urgent out of hours or emergency services provided for septic tank emptying. Requests for emptying services for tanks other than septic tanks will be charged at an  hourly rate.

My property is empty; do I still have to pay the standard sewerage charge? 

The charge is applied under Isle of Man Rating legislation which applies a valuation to a property if it is capable of beneficial occupation, not whether it is occupied or not.  Connections to our infrastructure network cannot readily be connected and disconnected pending on whether a property is occupied and it is appropriate that charges continue to be levied if the service provision remains available for use, whether the property is occupied or not.  If you do not believe your property is able to be occupied (for example, poor state of repair or on-going building works) then you should contact the Rating Valuation Office on 685636 or email [email protected] for further advice.

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