Houses in London: worried about high energy costs
Photo: Leon Neal / Getty Images
Consumers across Europe are having high energy costs.
So tips on how to save are in demand.
But the third largest energy supplier in Great Britain has now caused outrage with its special advice.
In a list of ten "simple and cost-effective ways to stay warm this winter", the company Ovo Energy had advised its customers in an email, among other things, to cuddle with their pets or do jumping jacks, as the "Financial Times" reported.
Labor MP Darren Jones, who is also chairman of the economic committee, said: “The call to put on a sweater instead of turning the heat on when you can't afford it is at a time when so many families are in trouble , simply insulting. "
Millions of British households are facing up to 50 percent higher energy costs this year.
The main reason for this is the high global gas demand.
According to FT, millions of energy bills are expected to rise by £ 700 to £ 2,000 per household in April if the UK energy price cap is adjusted.
This upper limit, which determines the bills of more than 15 million households, was raised by 12 percent in October by the energy regulator Ofgem.
Ovo Energy apologized for the mail to its five million or so customers.
This was sent to customers of SSE Energy Services, a UK electricity and gas company that was acquired by Ovo in 2020.
Warning of »energy poverty«
Theresa Villiers, a former Tory cabinet minister, said the tips were probably well-intentioned, but "pretty insensitive" nonetheless.
"A lot of people are very concerned about the rising energy bills and won't take it well if they tell them to do some jumping jacks," she added.
Social organizations warn that the rise in energy prices could plunge millions of households into "energy poverty" and exacerbate the looming cost of living crisis.
As countermeasures to high energy prices, consumer advocates and the opposition are calling, among other things, to temporarily abolish VAT on electricity and gas bills.
Boris Johnson had announced this step before the Brexit referendum as a result of leaving the EU.
As Prime Minister, Johnson is much more cautious, especially since he needs tax revenue to cushion the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Hula hoop was also presented as a tip
In the mail from the electricity provider from which the "FT" quoted, it was advised, in addition to jumping jacks, to cuddle with loved ones, to "get moving" by "challenging the children to a hula hoop competition" or cleans the house.
Clive Lewis, Labor MP for Norwich South, described the recommendations as "clownish" and "depressing". "It's ridiculous and insulting, but given the government's lack of an energy strategy, that's almost to be expected," he said. The tips are aimed at people who have to choose between eating and heating. "If that's the state of the country we're in now, I find that pretty depressing."
The energy supplier Ovo was contrite: “We understand how difficult the situation will be for many of our customers this year.
We are working hard to find meaningful solutions to this energy crisis and we acknowledge that the content on this blog has been poorly rated and has been of no help, ”the company said.
"We are embarrassed and we apologize sincerely."
Angela Merkel also gave tips on how to warm up
Even the former Chancellor Angela Merkel had to learn that in crisis situations one should be cautious about training requests.
When in December 2020, in view of the corona pandemic, the focus was on how to keep schools open, the then head of government had tips ready on how students can keep warm in well-ventilated classrooms.
"Maybe you do a little squat or clap your hands," Merkel said in a radio interview at the time.
mmq / dpa