Unions said they will oppose the job cuts, and criticised the Government for 'doing nothing' to tackle the energy crisis.

Earlier this week the company said it was "embarrassed" after an email was sent out advising customers to keep their heating bills low by “ having a cuddle with your pets ”, eating “ hearty bowls of porridge ” and “ doing a few star jumps ”.

Bristol-based Ovo Energy was transformed into Britain's third-biggest energy supplier last year after taking over rival SSE ’ s retail customer base.

Unite national officer for energy, Simon Coop said : "We warned the directors about blundering into the SSE takeover.

'in recent years the same directors have plundered the accounts for amounts estimated to be touching £5 million.

"so, the company must be subject to severe scrutiny before the union decides on our next moves, but if they move to compulsory redundancies they will be fully opposed by the union."

'Customer numbers are increasing in those companies left in the energy retail sector.

Stephen Fitzpatrick founded Ovo Energy in 2009 and admits the email sent to customers was humiliating for the business that has made him £675million

Unison's head of energy Matt Lay said : 'Hard-working staff across the company will be devastated as they anxiously await their fate.

Closing offices will hit local economies hard too.

'Staff have been dealt a cruel blow.

Ovo Energy, the UK's third-biggest gas and electricity supplier, is to cut a quarter of its workforce as part of a restructuring aimed at saving costs amid the deepening industry crisis.

Founder of OVO Energy Stephen Fitzpatrick seen outside BBC late last year after an interview

Sky News has learnt that Ovo could announce details of its plans as soon as Thursday, with roughly 1,700 out of 6,200 roles expected to be lost as part of a voluntary redundancy programme.

The announcement will come during a difficult week for the company, which provoked anger when it sent an apparently light-hearted email to customers this week recommending that they perform star-jumps or cuddle their pet to keep warm during the winter months.

One source said Ovo's announcement of the redundancy programme would be accompanied by a commitment to increase minimum pay across the company to £12-an-hour, and to "reshore" all customer-facing jobs to the UK.

It also plans to open a new academy in Glasgow, and to close a number of its sites as part of a consolidation to three locations in London, Bristol and Glasgow.

Ovo, which has about 4.5 million UK customers, was set up by Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2009 and was acquired by SSE's retail customer base two years ago.

It is the third-biggest energy firm behind Centrica's British Gas and E.ON Next, the brand combining customers of E.ON and npower.

It is also backed by the Japanese industrial group Mitsubishi.

Ovo declined to comment.

Ovo Energy sent an email to customers on Monday listing ten ‘simple and cost effective ways to keep warm this winter’

Campaigners fear fuel poverty could reach its highest level since records began without government intervention, warning that 6 million UK homes may be unable to pay energy bills after a further price hike in spring.

energy giant ovo is preparing to axe 1,700 staff as part of voluntary redundancy programme in a bid to save money as the energy crisis continues to unfold across the country.

It comes as energy bills for millions of households are set to soar by more than 50 per cent in April.

The email was sent to customers of SSE Energy Services, which was bought by Ovo in 2020.

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-alc

The next review of the price cap is to be announced on Feb. 7.

The company refused to comment on Thursday.

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