We all love to cuddle our pets to keep us warm during the winter months, but now a UK-based energy supplier has apologized after it published a memo offering tips on how to save money on heating bills amid rising prices, including hugging your furry friend.
According to The Financial Times, energy supplier Ovo sent an email out to customers which included 10 “simple and cost effective ways to keep warm this winter without turning up the heating”, such as having “a cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy” and eating ginger but avoiding chili “as it makes you sweat”.
Also included in the email is a recommendation to “get moving” by “challenging the kids to a hula-hoop contest”, cleaning the house or “doing a few star jumps”.
Theresa Villiers, a former Conservative cabinet minister, said the advice was probably well-intentioned but was, nonetheless, “pretty insensitive”.
“Many people are very anxious about rising energy bills and won’t take kindly to being told to do some star jumps,” Villiers said.
Increased oil and gas demand in Asia, a rapid recovery of some economies after lockdown, and a summer with little wind to generate alternative power, have all contributed to rising energy costs.
North Bristol Member of Parliament Darren Jones said, “Being told to put on a jumper instead of turning on your heating if you can’t afford it, at a time of such difficulty for so many families, is plainly offensive,
The company now said it has removed the blog so it could “update it” with “more meaningful information for customers”.
In a statement, an Ovo spokesperson said, “Last week a link to a blog containing energy saving tips was sent to customers. 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 recognise that the content of this blog was poorly judged and unhelpful,” the spokesperson continued. “We are embarrassed and sincerely apologise.”
Ovo Energy told BBC News that it recognised the content of the blog was “poorly judged and unhelpful. We understand how difficult the situation will be for many of our customers this year.”