Coal shortages were a problem across Britain during the Great War, as many miners went away to fight. The Isle of Man was in an even worse position, as no coal was produced on the island, and it could only be obtained via a perilous crossing of the Irish Sea. After losing a number of ships, coal merchants were reluctant to deliver coal to the island, and as a result it was in short supply.
Throughout the war, coal supplies were controlled by the Manx government. Street lighting was cut to save on gas, and the amount that each household could use was limited through the use of coal coupons.