ONE of Britain’s energy giants has sparked fury after telling Brits to “cuddle your cat” and “do star jumps” to keep warm as bills are set to soar to £2,000 a year.
MPs blasted yesterday’s “plainly offensive” advice on lowering energy bills by a division of OVO Energy.
Its email revealed ten “simple and cost-effective ways to keep warm this winter”, the Financial Times reported.
The absurd recommendations includes “a cuddle with your pets and loved ones”, chomping down some ginger and porridge and avoiding chilli “as it makes you sweat”.
Another suggestion was to “get moving” by cleaning your house and challenging “the kids to a Hula-Hoop contest”.
The email, seen by the FT, was sent to customers of SSE Energy Services – an electricity and gas business bought out by OVO in 2020.
Former Tory cabinet minister Theresa Villiers said the advice was “pretty insensitive”.
She said: “Many people are very anxious about rising energy bills and they won’t take kindly to being told to do star jumps.”
Labour MP Darren Jones, who chairs the business select committee, called on OVO to apologise.
“Being told to put on a jumper if you can’t afford it, at a time of such difficulty for so many families, is plainly offensive,” he said.
It comes as household electricity bills are set to double this year and incomes are expected to face the biggest squeeze since the GFC of 2008-2009.
Energy bills are set to rise in April by more than 50 per cent, or £700, to £2,000 a year per household.
An OVO spokesman has since apologised, telling the FT: “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”
The energy crisis kicked off in October last year following a multitude of factors including a lessened supply of gas from Russia and reduced stockpiles in the UK that have seen prices skyrocket.
And ofgem – the energy regulator which determines bills for 15 million homes – lifted a cap on rates by 12 per cent in the same month.
Meanwhile, charities have warned of a surge in people experiencing “fuel poverty” as the cost of living continues to surge to new heights.
Official figures suggested inflation could reach to its highest in 30 years while banking behemoth Goldman Sachs warned the price of good could rise as much as 6.87 per cent increase in April, well above the government’s 2 per cent sweet spot.
And experts are now concerned a ‘perfect storm’ of a hike in gas prices, a looming national insurance increase, and a million people being dragged into a higher tax rate could do irreparable damage to people’s personal finances.