Britain’s third largest energy company has apologized and said it was “embarrassed” after advising customers to keep their heating bills low by “cuddling with their pets”, eating “hearty bowls of porridge” and “jumping in stars.” “. .
MEPs described the guidelines issued on Monday by a division of Ovo Energy as “offensive” and “offensive” as millions of UK households have been exposed to them a “cost of living disaster” in spring, including an increase in energy bills up to £ 2,000 a year on April 1st for an average household at direct debit tariff.
The email to the customers of SSE Energy Services, which Ovo acquired in 2020, listed 10 “easy and inexpensive ways to keep warm this winter” such as “sticking to soft drinks”, doing housework, “ cuddling with your pets and loved ones to keep it cozy “and” promoting blood circulation “by eating ginger but avoiding chilli” as it makes you sweat “.
Customers were also advised to “get exercise” by “challenging the kids to a hula hoop contest” and drinking more water, as well as warning that “the warming sensation from wine or whiskey is temporary You’ll soon lose heat to your core and end up feeling even colder, “reported the Financial Times.
Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Theresa Villiers said the council was likely well meant but at the same time “quite insensitive”. “A lot of people are very concerned about rising energy bills and won’t approve of being told to do a few star jumps,” she said.
Labor MP Darren Jones, who also chairs the House of Commons’ business, energy and industrial strategy committee, said the company should apologize to its customers. “At a difficult time for many families, being told to put on a sweater instead of turning on the heater when you can’t afford it is downright insulting,” he said.
Clive Lewis, Labor MP for Norwich South, said the recommendations were “clownish” and “depressing”. “It’s ridiculous and offensive, but given the government’s lack of energy strategy, it’s almost expected,” he said, adding that the email “is read by people who have to choose between eating and heating.” […] If that’s the state of the country we’re in now, I find that pretty depressing. ”
Record wholesale price increases for gas and electricity have led the government to examine ways to mitigate the impact on household bills, after Tory MP asked Boris Johnson to act and help consumers.
Activists fear that if the government does not intervene, energy poverty could reach its highest level on record. Warning that 6 million UK households may not be able to pay energy bills after a further price increase in the spring.
Ovo said: “We understand how difficult the situation will be for many of our customers this year. We are working hard to find meaningful solutions as we approach this energy crisis and we are aware that the content of this blog has been poorly judged and not helpful. We are embarrassed and we sincerely apologize. “