Britain's biggest energy supplier Centrica is freezing consumer energy bills by using the profit it made from high gas demand during the UK's recent cold snap.
According to the group's interim management statement, Centrica will keep energy tariffs at current levels, after residential gas consumption rose by 18% over the first four months of 2013, compared with the same time last year.
"Any benefit arising from the exceptionally cold weather will be used to maintain our price competitiveness," said Centrica in the statement.
The announcement comes only six months after Centrica raised its gas and electricity prices by 6% [Fig 1].
In November 2012, SSE raised its gas and power tariffs by 9%, while EDF Energy raised the same tariffs by the highest amount in the market by 10.8%.
Over the last few years, Centrica and other energy suppliers have been accused of making excessive profit, from supplying energy to cash-strapped households.
In today's statement, Centrica says it is promising to hold prices at current levels for as long as possible.
"Recognising the economic pressures facing many of our customers, the Board has determined that any benefit arising from the exceptionally cold weather will be used to maintain our price competitiveness," said Centrica.
"As a result of this decision, we expect the residential energy supply business to deliver an operating profit for the full year in line with expectations, weighted towards the first half."
The group also forecast its full-year earnings to be in line with market expectations.