UK utility apologises for advice to keep pets warm

One of the UK’s biggest energy suppliers apologises for advising customers to cuddle with pets or challenge children to hula hoop competitions to stay warm as gas and electricity bills soar this winter

According to the Financial Times, Ovo Energy’s recommendations are included in a list sent to customers of 10 cost-effective ways to save on heating bills. The list has sparked outrage from politicians and households, whose incomes are being squeezed by rising energy prices that are driving record inflation across Europe and being pushed up by scarce natural gas supplies.

Labour MP Darren Jones, MP for the Commons business select committee, called Ovo’s proposal “disgusting”.

“I’m not sure who signed up for a marketing campaign telling people to eat porridge in a jumper if they can’t afford it, instead of turning on the heat,” he tweeted.

Ovo has since apologized.

“We understand how difficult it will be for many of our customers this year,” the company told the Financial Times. “As we grapple with this energy crisis, we are working hard to find meaningful solutions, and we recognize that the content of this blog is poorly judged and unhelpful. We are embarrassed and sincerely apologize.”