The boss of Ovo Energy said his company made a “mistake” by telling customers they can stay warm by eating lentils as gas bills are set to rise.
Teffen Fitzpatrick said the advice from SSE Energy Services, which is owned by Ovo, was “unhelpful” and “disturbing”.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast he said: “I’m glad you picked it up because it’s one of the reasons I wanted to be on the show and explain what a big mistake that was, and how embarrassed I was to find out it was something like this.” which was sent by our company.
It was a bad day, we made a mistake, and we tried to fix it as soon as possibleStephen Fitzpatrick, Ovos
“It’s a ridiculous piece of advice. It was something that was really stupid. It should never have been written, it should never have been sent and we should have caught it.”
“After about half an hour we found out that it was shipped out, we took it back, we apologize profusely. And frankly to all the customers we know are concerned about payment, this This type of message is simply too unhelpful and disturbing and I apologise.
“It was a bad day, we made a mistake, and we tried to fix it as soon as possible.”
Other advice includes wearing wool and thick socks, staying active, and eating whole grains and ginger – but avoiding chilies, which make you sweat.
Customers were also told they could open their oven doors after cooking to bring heat into the home, hug pets or loved ones, open curtains to let sunlight in, and cracks. and patch cracks where heat can escape.
So I cannot say that it will happen in six months, in nine months, in a year. I can only see what the market says at the moment, and the market is suggesting higher gas prices will be here for the next 18 months to two years.Chris O’Shea, Centrica
During the same interview, Mr Fitzpatrick called on the government to cut green levies and social costs on energy bills and instead raise money through ordinary taxes.
“It is important to note that consumers will have to pay the actual cost of energy,” he said. “But today our energy bills have not only VAT, but also a whole bunch of environmental and social costs that the poorest person in our society is paying the highest proportion of.
“We feel these should be paid through normal taxation. There is widespread agreement across the industry that energy charges that go on everyone’s bills are in fact regressive. They lead to the poorest people paying the highest.
“If we pay for them through normal taxation, we can ensure that the wealthiest person in society bears the biggest burden. This is something the government can do today.
“We think an announcement is coming, but so far – five months into this crisis – we haven’t seen anything.”
On the same show, Chris O’Shea, who leads British Gas owner Centrica, warned that higher gas prices could last at least 18 months to two years. “Gas is a big transition fuel, so when you turn off coal-fired power stations in other countries, there’s probably more demand for gas,” he said.
“In the long run you get more balance in the system, but there isn’t an abundance of gas that you can turn on quickly.
“So I can’t say it will be done in six months, in nine months, in a year. I can only see what the market says at the moment, and what the market is suggesting is for the next 18 months to two years. Higher gas prices will be here.
“After that, who knows?”