Electricity company asks customers to cuddle with pets to keep warm and save money

Energy company writes a blog about cost-effective ways to keep warm and offends Britons who are glaring at fuel poverty and a large rise in electricity bills.

 |  1-minute read |   12-01-2022
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Britain's third-largest energy company recently came under criticism because of its vague and offensive suggestions to users to limit the electricity intake and consider alternatives to keep warm. Why? It would save fuel in a country where the supply is low and demand is surging, thus raising electricity bills. 

Cuddle with your Cat. Photo: TwitterCuddle with your Cat. Photo: Twitter

When you look up the Top 10 cost-effective ways to keep warm this winter, Google throws up some good technical suggestions like:

  1. Using rugs
  2. Using aluminium foils behind radiators
  3. Installing fireplaces
  4. Using duct booster fans and plastic wraps
  5. Using terracotta heaters etc

But no company would ask you to 'cuddle' with your cat to keep warm. Nor would they ask you to eat ginger. Especially, if they are an energy-producing company. But seems like we found one who has done this and gone viral for it. 

WHAT HAPPENED?

Ovo Energy published a blog titled, "10 simple and cost-effective ways to keep warm this winter," that included suggestions like having a "cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy” and eating ginger but avoiding chilli “as it makes you sweat."

But instead of taking it as a joke, Britons found it offensive AF. Parliamentarians called it offensive and insulting while Darren Jones, the Chair of the Business Select Committee, asked Ovo to apologise to its customers for the “insensitive” comments. But Why?

 

THE GAS PROBLEM 

Many British businesses and households have seen their energy bills shoot through the roof recently, as suppliers are grappling with a sharp rise in wholesale gas prices. Wholesale European gas prices jumped by 400% in the previous year while electricity prices increased by 300% as per Bank of America.

This steep rise is on account of the cold weather, nuclear plant outages in France and reduced gas flow from Russia. Moreover, the UK and US both expect a price rise in April 2022, which will pinch the customers even more. British customers are expected to pay 790 Pounds over their existing prices this year for heating and electricity. 

WHY IS THE BLOG A PROBLEM?

The current fuel prices are rising since prices hit a record high in 2021. Rising prices would lead to fuel poverty and add to the cost of living crisis. As the countries loom over the fuel prices, asking customers to wear jumpers instead of turning on the heaters, if they cannot afford it, is offensive.   

Though Ovo issued an apology later, below are some interesting suggestions they shared:

 

You might have seen OVO & SSE in the news today. We recently sent an email to customers with energy saving tips that linked to a blog post. This blog should never have been written or sent to customers - it was embarrassingly unhelpful and poorly judged. We are sincerely sorry.

 

 

THE OTHER INTERESTING SUGGESTIONS  

1. Cuddling.

2. Eating hearty bowls of porridge will help increase your body temperature, as they take longer to digest.

3. Sticking to non-alcoholic drinks.

4. Get moving by challenging the kids to a hula-hoop contest.

5. Cleaning the house or doing a few star jumps.

6. Consuming ginger because it keeps you warm by encouraging blood flow.

What would you do if you received an email like this?

Writer

Akshata Kamath Akshata Kamath @akshispublished

Akshata Kamath is a Digital Storyteller at DailyO. She loves to simplify Finance, Business, Healing and History.

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