||Britain's third-biggest energy supplier, which sparked fury after recommending that households save on their heating bills this winter by 'cuddling' their pets, is said to be cutting a quarter of its workforce amid a deepening gas crisis.<br>Ovo Energy will reportedly be axing roughly 1,700 out of 6,200 roles as part of a voluntary redundancy programme in a bid to save costs. <br>The energy firm is said to have plans to close several sites across the country in order to focus on , and Bristol, but it will open a new academy in Glasgow, a source told . <br>Ovo's announcement will also include a promise to increase minimum pay across the company to £12-an-hour as well as 'reshoring' all customer-facing jobs to the UK, the source said.<br>The development comes during a difficult week for Ovo, after the company was criticised for sending an email to its customers recommending that they can save on their heating bills this winter by 'cuddling' their pets , 'cleaning', or 'doing a few star jumps'.<br> <br> Ovo Energy sent an email to customers on Monday listing ten ‘simple and cost effective ways to keep warm this winter'.
They included having a ‘cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy', eating ‘hearty bowls of porridge', sticking to ‘non-alcoholic drinks' and eating ginger — but not chilli, ‘as it makes you sweat'<br> RELATED ARTICLES
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Ovo Energy sent an email to customers on Monday listing ten ‘simple and cost effective ways to keep warm this winter'<br>Stephen Fitzpatrick, the £675million boss of the energy supplier, later apologised for the email and declared: 'Somebody had a bad day'. <br>Mr Fitzpatrick did not reveal if the person who wrote the email had been sacked but admitted their suggestions had been 'upsetting and embarrassing'.<br>Energy bills for millions of households are expected to jump by more than 50 pet cent in April to £2,000 a year, when Britain's energy price cap is adjusted. <br>MailOnline revealed earlier this week that Mr Fitzpatrick enjoys a sprawling, five-bedroom weekend home in the heart of the picturesque Cotswolds, close to Cirencester, which is worth £3.2million and costs a whopping £850-per-month to power. <br>Mr Fitzpatrick bought the former rectory, which boasts a swimming pool, six bedrooms and four bathrooms, for £2.9million in 2019. <br>His business is in the firing line after offering 'simple and cost effective ways' to help keep its customers warm through winter, other than putting the heating on, including giving a cat 'a cuddle', eating 'hearty bowls of porridge' and sticking to 'non-alcoholic drinks'.<br>Other suggestions in the email, sent out to customers of SSE Energy Services, a gas and electricity retail business which was acquired by Ovo in 2020, suggested eating ginger - but not chilli, 'as it makes you sweat'. Or trying 'cleaning the house', having a family 'hula-hoop contest' or 'doing a few star jumps'. <br>Belfast-born Mr Fitzpatrick told the BBC: 'I'd like to start by apologising, again. It is unfortunately the case that we are a large company and somebody had a bad day, they sent out an email and we should have caught it.
It is an email that should never have been written.<br>'I think it was probably meant with good intentions but this is the kind of email that causes a lot of upset. Nobody takes the situation facing British customers more seriously than I do so it's really upsetting and embarrassing'.<br>When asked if he was worried that the company's reputation had been badly hurt, he said: 'I hope that the British public will understand that not everybody gets it right all the time'<br>'We have spent five or six years investing tens of millions of pounds on technologies that can help customers lower their carbon footprint, save energy and save money so it's really ironic that we're also the company sending out these ridiculous emails advising people to eat porridge and not drink wine.
It's just embarrassing and I hope that we have been emphatic with how we have dealt with this'. <br> Stephen Fitzpatrick founded Ovo Energy in 2009 and admits the email sent to customers was humiliating for the business that has made him £675million<br> Ovo Energy boss Stephen Fitzpatrick owns this sprawling, five-bedroom home in the Cotswolds that has its own swimming pool and is now worth in the region of £3.2million <br><div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-d59aab10-7403-11ec-bf39-87f92f5e4a6f" website third-biggest energy firm Ovo 'to cut a quarter of staff'