In line with existing procedures, we will seek to recover amounts due. In default, we may, at our discretion and by giving two full working days’ notice, disconnect the supply to your premise. The supply will not be reconnected until the amounts payable to date have been received by Manx Utilities in full, or an alternative arrangement has been made for the payment of the outstanding debt.
For prepayment customers, we will follow our current process too. Supply will be disconnected in the event of your credit running out.
The only time that we will disconnect immediately, without any prior notice, is on safety grounds – if we deem in our sole discretion that your electrical installation is in a dangerous and unsafe condition. We will not reconnect until we are satisfied that the installation has been made safe.
For Manx Utilities’ conditions of supply please see: https://www.manxutilities.im/media/1623/general-conditions-of-supply.pdf
We will aim to complete the installation with the minimum of disruption to households and businesses, and with ample notice prior to our installation visit.
In the UK there are many competing electricity providers, and the UK Government has struggled to harmonise the smart metering roll-out; conversely, the Isle of Man smart metering programme is designed entirely for Island customers and prioritises health, safety, security and reliability.
We are starting with the replacement of old, and increasingly unreliable, key meters. These are no longer manufactured, so cannot be replaced ‘like with like’. Feedback from our key meter customers suggests that most people will welcome the modernised system, and will use their smartphone at any time to top up their credit instead of having to travel to a shop to top up. Customers can still top up at a number of shops should they prefer.
Over the subsequent four years all other meters, in homes and businesses, will be replaced with modern, reliable smart meters. Manx Utilities has a legal obligation to provide reliable and accurate consumption billing; smart meters will also help customers to understand their own energy usage and allow them to make changes should they wish. The meters support IOM Government’s climate mitigation strategy, as they will help the Island move to a more efficient energy system, helping with the transition to greener forms of power generation, and allowing tariffs for cheaper off-peak electricity, electric vehicle charging etc.
All old meters will be disassembled and sent to the UK for reusing, recycling or disposing of the components. Meter manufacturers have withdrawn conventional meters and they are no longer supported.
Infrequently, in the initial period after the smart meters' installation, we may need to make adjustments to bills and are putting in place measures for potential tariff or billing issues to be flagged internally and resolved swiftly. As with current procedures, customers will be fully protected should it be identified that they have overpaid. Where an historic issue is identified with meter hardware accuracy or Manx Utilities’ failings, we will not pursue the recovery of monies outstanding.
Issues surrounding the United Kingdom’s deployment of smart gas and electricity meters have been well publicised and the UK has missed its 2020 roll-out target. However, it is one of the few deployments combining both the roll-out of smart electricity and gas meters, and providing switching within a competitive market of over 60 domestic energy suppliers.
The proposed Manx Utilities’ smart metering programme is fundamentally different to that of the UK roll-out and not just because Manx Utilities is the sole supplier of electricity. The key difference is that the UK deployment is supplier-led.
Similar to the rest of Europe, the roll-out in the Isle of Man will be managed by Manx Utilities as the sole network operator. Contrast this with the UK where there is no coordination of installations meaning, for instance, that a street of 50 properties could require visits from 50 meter installers, each from a separate company, to make that street ‘smart’.
We are actively learning from the UK and other European roll-outs, with sustained improvement continually feeding into workstreams.