I imagine it happening thus:
Edmund Blackadder enters the office of this boss George Prince.
Prince, George: Ah Blackadder. What news?
Blackadder: Not good sir. The price of gas is going down again.
Prince, George: But surely that is a good thing Blackadder? The customers have been complaining about the fuel prices all year.
Blackadder: While that is true sir, what about the shareholders? After all it is they who employ you, not the customers.
Prince, George: Oh balderdash. I'd forgotten about them.
Blackadder: And you'd promised them significant profits for the next fiscal year based on the increased fuel prices we thought were coming.
Enter Baldrick and office clerk, hands a file over to Blackadder.
Prince, George: What can we do to ensure we make enough money to please the shareholders.
Baldrick: I have a cunning plan.
Blackadder: Not now Baldrick, this is no concern of yours.
Baldrick: But Mr Blackadder sir, what if we make our pre-paying customers pay for 18 months gas over the next year?
Blackadder: Don't be so stupid. Get out of here.
Blackadder: Sir I may have the solution you are looking for.
Prince, George: What oh Bladder?
Blackadder: Well Sir lets just say we make those who pay by direct debit pay for more gas than they'll actually use. To gear them up for next winter. Say 18 months worth over a financial year.
Prince, George: Squiffy, Blackadder. That is a genius idea. How did I ever come up with it?
Blackadder: I have no idea sir, it is one of your best.