First Utility under fire after issuing 'insulting' energy saving advice

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A leading UK energy firm has been labelled 'insulting' to millions of people struggling to pay their energy bills after advising customers to shower together, avoid hot drinks and boiling the kettle twice a week and to play boardgames rather than watching TV.

First Utility had already stepped on a number of its customers toes with announcements of an 18% price hike last year, and it remains to be seen whether they will see the funny side of the energy-saving suggestions - with Shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex in particular expressing his distaste for the comments.

As Britain's biggest independent energy firm serving 120,000 customers, First Utility, is one of the biggest rivals to the established 'Big Six' energy suppliers. It currently charges an average of £1,120 for dual fuel customers and suggested the 5:2 energy diet could save customers an average of £154 a year.

It claims by showering together customers could save £34 a year - jokingly adding 'just ask permission from the other person first!'. Other tips include avoiding hot drinks twice a week, which could help customers save £10 a year. Reading or playing Monopoly could save customers £12 a year it suggests.

Shadow Energy minister, Tom Greatrex, refused to see the funny side of the comments however, calling them an 'insult' to millions of UK citizens struggling to find the funds to pay their energy bills.

He said: "Rising energy bills really aren't a laughing matter and cause genuine hardship for millions of people.

"Issuing ridiculous advice, however tongue-in-cheek, will insult and annoy many consumers who are struggling to heat and power their homes this winter."

First Utility chief customer officer, Ed Kamm has defended his under fire firm however, suggesting the tips were designed to stimulate awareness of fuel poverty, rather than ridicule it.

He said: "These tips are meant to provide some advice on how we might reduce our energy usage and absolutely not intended to trivialise the issue of fuel poverty, something we take very seriously."

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