Ovo Energy apologises to customers for 'poorly judged and unhelpful' advice

By Ben Bloch

Britain's third-largest energy supplier has apologised to customers, saying it is "embarrassed" at the advice sent out to customers.

Ovo Energy sent an email to customers last week advising that customers "have a cuddle with pets" or "try cleaning the house" to avoid using the heating amid rising energy bills.

A spokesperson for the company tonight apologised for the "poorly judged and unhelpful" advice.

READ MORE: Bristol's free parking to be scrapped in some areas amid council tax hike

The email, seen by the Financial Times, contained 10 “simple and cost effective ways to keep warm this winter”, and they included suggestions like having "a cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy" and "try cleaning the house".

Other advice includes "challenging the kids to a hula hoop contest", "doing a few star jumps", and "keep your oven open after you've finished cooking".

The email was sent to customers of SSE Energy Service, which was acquired by Ovo in 2020, according to the Financial Times.

Households in Britain are set to be hit by a rise of more than 50 per cent in energy prices in April when the energy price cap is raised, which could cost Brits an extra £700 on their energy bills each year.

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West and chair of the business select committee had called on Ovo to apologise, telling the FT: "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, is plainly offensive."

What do you think of this story? Log in and join the debate

On Twitter, the reaction has been swift and damning from the public, with many mocking the advice.

One user wrote: "Huddle around your recently lit gas bill", and another said: "Think warm thoughts."

Richard wrote: "My dad is in his 90’s. Ovo have just increased his monthly bill by 300%. It takes him all his strength to get out of his chair but I’ll tell him to do some f****** star jumps!"

In a statement this evening, a spokesperson Ovo Energy apologised for the advice, saying: "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.

"We are embarrassed and sincerely apologise."

Want our best stories with fewer ads and alerts when the biggest news stories drop? Download our app on iPhone or Android


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.