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The very worst of Ovo Energy’s ‘embarrassing’ tips for keeping warm this winter

The energy firm has apologised over a blog post that listed tips for customers to keep warm this winter. It included hugging pets, doing star jumps and avoiding eating chilli.

Hugging pets was among the advice on how to stay warm from Ovo Energy. Image: Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

The energy crisis of recent months has been a very real concern for families across the country, especially as the winter months grow colder. In the final months of 2021 gas prices skyrocketed to record-breaking levels, causing various energy companies to go bust and bills to soar. 

Concerns that millions will be forced into fuel poverty has led to numerous advice articles springing up across the board to help families cope with the energy crisis, some of which are helpful, some of which are… less so

Bristol-based company Ovo Energy has been supplying gas and electricity to roughly five million customers across the country since 2009. Ovo is just one of many companies affected by the energy crisis.  Luckily for us all, Ovo put together a blog post of “energy-saving tips”. Unluckily for us all, the list of tips and tricks felt more like a kick in the teeth for families whose lives have been flipped upside down by unprecedented gas prices. 

We’ve pulled together some of the best, and by best we mean worst, advice that Ovo Energy had to offer for “Keeping warm in winter without turning up the heating”.

1. Star jumps

A fair enough proposition at first glance, after all a bit of light cardio does wonders for your internal temperature. However, “challenging the kids to a hula-hoop contest” or “doing a few star jumps” is a mildly-depressing attempt at positivity for parents whose sleepless nights are currently prompted by worries of how they’ll keep their children warm. And that’s not to mention hula-hooping 24/7 seems like an ever-so slightly unobtainable ask, even when it’s -1 outside. 

2. Drink water and eat ginger

In 2021, approximately two-and-a-half million people turned to their local food banks as the pandemic took its toll. Unfortunately for them, Ovo suggests that food could well be a solution to the energy crisis. Potatoes, lentils and “hearty bowls of porridge” all feature on Ovo’s menu. The supplier also recommends ginger which “keeps you warm by encouraging blood flow” and “drinking more water”. 

3. Leave oven doors open

Freezing in your own home? Simply gather round an open oven door after dinner. Nothing says homely like wafting the home with last night’s fish fingers. That is, thanks to price caps continuing to rise, if you can afford to use your gas ovens in the first place. 

4. Cuddle your pets

Perhaps most insulting of all, Ovo encouraged customers to “have a cuddle with your pets and loved ones to help stay cosy”. There are a multitude of reasons why families strapped for cash may find this one particularly insulting, not least that they may not have a dog or cat in the first place, nor that a hamster or a tortoise is unlikely to be very helpful in radiating heat. 

For millions of households across the county, there is genuine, devastating concern that families will suffer immensely over the next few months. In the age of Covid-19 cold homes might mean sick children and parents, already under strain, trying to keep their families afloat. 

Ovo Energy has since removed the blog post and has apologised

A spokesperson said: “We are embarrassed and sincerely apologise. We understand how difficult the situation will be for many of our customers this year.”

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