Customers of one of the UK’s top energy suppliers were sent “insulting” energy-saving recommendations that claimed they might save money on heating costs by “cuddling” their dogs and “doing a few star jumps”.
SSE Energy Services recommended 10 “simple and cost-effective methods to stay warm this winter” in a blog post distributed to customers on Monday. Sticking to non-alcoholic drinks, performing housework, and eating ginger to “encourage blood flow” were among the suggestions.
In addition, recipients were encouraged to “get moving” by doing star jumps and “challenging the kids to a hula-hoop contest.” According to the Financial Times, they were advised to eat “hearty bowls of porridge” and drink more water, as well as be warned that the “warming feeling from wine or whisky is short since you’ll soon lose heat from your core and end up feeling more colder.”
After MPs characterized the advisory as “insulting” and “offensive,” the company, a division of Ovo Energy, withdrew the post and apologized, at a time when millions of families are facing a cost-of-living crisis due to rising energy costs. The advice read “like some Dickensian nightmare,” according to one government source.
In a statement, the firm said it was “embarrassed” by the “poorly judged and unhelpful” blog post, and “understand(s) how difficult the situation will be for many of our customers this year.” The company told the BBC it had removed the post to “update it” with “more meaningful information for customers.”