Britain’s top energy supplier has apologized after telling customers it could keep their pet warm by feeding them porridge and cuddling.
Ovo Energy stated that it felt “embarrassed” following the sending of a link to a blog containing “energy-saving tips”, to SSE customers. This brand it also owns.
According to the company, it removed the blog in order to provide “more relevant information” for its customers.
This is in response to rising living costs and concerns about the future.
Ovo Energy bought SSE in 2020. However, the brands remain separate.
Ovo Energy made a statement to BBC, saying that the blog content had been “poorly judged” and was unhelpful.
The supplier stated, “We are ashamed and we sincerely apologize.”
“We are aware of the difficulty this situation will cause for many customers in this year.”
“Cuddle your pet”
SSE offered some tips for keeping warm during winter on its website.
This advice suggested wearing more layers. It also advised that you keep moving.
SSE stated that there are two ways to stop draughts: people can leave their oven open when they’re done cooking, and have a cuddle with loved ones and pets.
Darren Jones of the Commons business select panel, who was the one to report the news, described the advice as “insensitive”, speaking with Financial Times.
According to the Labour MP, “It is clearly offensive that you are told to wear a jumper, rather than turn on the heating, in a time when so many families are struggling,” he said.
A tweetAfter Ovo Energy apologized, Jones said that he was glad they had apologised. A marketing campaign urging people to wear a sweater and eat porridge rather than heating their homes was approved by Ovo Energy.
In recent months, both businesses and households have noticed an increase in their energy costs as wholesale gas prices rose sharply.
Rising energy prices have been caused by increased oil and gas consumption in Asia and rapid economic recovery after some lockdowns.
Energy UK trade group has said bills could soar by 50% as the April price cap change, which will be effective in February. It said the average household could end up paying about £700 more per year.
This, along with UK inflation at an all-time high of 10% and likely to rise further, has led to warnings about a “cost-of-living crisis”.
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