For members of the British public, an instruction to cut back on cups of tea is like being told not to breathe.
Having a cuppa is what we do first thing in the morning, as soon as we get to work, for a mid-morning break, a lunch-time slurp, an afternoon slump fixer and, finally, an evening put-your-feet-up ‘Ahhh’.
It’s a daily ritual we are loathe to part with. Cutting back on a brew sounds reckless, dangerous, downright stupid and even stupider to advise us to do.
But that’s exactly what the country’s largest independent energy supplier First Utility has done, to the outraged headlines of several newspapers yesterday afternoon.
How dare a supplier tell us what to do, chunters the subtext of their stories, when they have shamelessly put up their energy prices! It is THEIR executives who should be sharing the showers, getting to bed early and going without a caffeine fix to lower energy bills.
Yes, First Utility’s energy tips might sound daft, deliberately titillating and ever so slightly patronising.
But in fact, most are just practical common sense. (Apart from the shower one – trying to squeeze two bodies into a cubicle shower is a nightmare. Trust me, I’ve tried it.)
We’re a wasteful bunch, the Brits – and if a game of monopoly and a caffeine detox can save us a few bob, why not?