On the same day that the British government released grim news on national unemployment, the multinational utility Centrica plc said it plans to cut about 850 jobs at its British Gas unit in the United Kingdom in an effort to slash its overhead costs.

Household budgets are stretched, customers are looking for maximum value for money, and if we are going to remain competitive and offer the best prices for our customers, we need to reduce our costs, said a company spokesperson in a statement.

Centrica indicated that job eliminations would affect management and support roles, but not customer service. British Gas’ service business (where the bulk of job cuts will likely tale place) employs about 10,000 people in total.

The spokesman added: We will work to ensure continued high levels of service for our customers. We will now move into a consultation period to discuss these proposals in more detail with our people and their representatives. This is a sensitive and difficult matter, and we will work to support all those affected, and to ensure a fair, open and transparent process throughout.

BBC noted that British Gas, the country’s largest provider of gas and electricity to businesses and residents, increased domestic gas bills by 18 percent and electric bills by 16 percent on average in August.

Indeed, The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), Britain’s energy regulator, has declared that profit margins for UK energy firms have risen more than eight times since June due to a series result of rate hikes by the country's six premier energy companies.

However, British Gas, along with some other dominant UK utilities, promised not to raise prices this winter.