Major energy firm gives away electric blankets for FREE
Major energy firm gives away electric blankets for FREE as boss says some customers can pay new higher bills but choose not to
- Octopus Energy is handing out the free heated blankets to its customers in need
- Company said gesture is to help with energy bills which have soared this month
- Chief Executive Greg Jackson acknowledged cost-of-living crisis is ‘very real’
A major energy supplier is giving away electric blankets to customers in a bid to help with soaring heating bills as the cost of living crisis continues to hit homes across the UK.
Octopus Energy has sent out the heated blankets to thousands of its customers as it says it will will those who are struggling with rising gas and energy costs.
Many households’ energy bills are skyrocketing due to an increase in the price cap to almost £2,000 which went up at the start of April.
The uplift in the price cap equates to an estimated £700 increase on the average annual energy bill in Britain.
The added expense forms part of Britain’s cost of living crisis which has seen the price of food and clothes soar.
But Octopus Energy has tried to soften the blow by handing out electric blankets to customers in need which can provide a cheaper alternative to central heating.
Octopus Energy is giving away electric blankets to customers in a bid to help soften the blow of soaring heating bills as the cost of living crisis continues to hit households across the UK
Depending on your tariff, electric blankets can cost as little as 28p an hour, according to Uswitch.
People took to social media to thank Octopus for what the company called ‘dedicated support for customers in financial hardship’.
The Bauer Professional heated throw is currently on sale on Amazon for around £40.
One customer wrote: ‘A Big thank you for the electric blanket. Being in a Power wheelchair 24/7 – I feel the cold more with little room for exercise to warm up, and this useful gift will warm me up.
‘Thank you. Not all energy companies are the same it seems. I am a normal customer.’
Another added: ‘Just wanted to say a big thank you !! Our free heated blanket arrived today and the kids nicked it straight away, they love it !!! Thank you so much.’
Pictured: The Bauer Professional heated throw is currently available on Amazon for £40
The company said it had 5,000 blankets but has since said ‘stocks are very low’.
Customers can fill out an online assistance tool to apply for an electric blanket and other help.
Octopus has said it will hand out blankets to those in the most financial need, depending on how many it has left.
Chief executive Greg Jackson said there is ‘no hiding’ the fact that energy costs have risen ‘dramatically’, as he acknowledged the cost-of-living crisis is ‘very real’.
He said the ‘sad reality’ is that many people lost their jobs during the pandemic and went from being able to pay their bills to finding them unaffordable.
He told LBC: ‘Where people do their very best, companies like ours will work with them to get payment plans in place, to provide some assistance, to work with them on their whole income and expenditure.’
Mr Jackson said there are also people who can pay but choose not to, adding that a ‘different approach’ has to be taken in that scenario.
Warning that energy prices could rise even further in the winter, he said: ‘Global energy prices is one of the most volatile markets and so it’s a fool who will make a strong prediction.
‘But what we do know is that the next energy price cap period is being set by the prices we’re seeing now, because there’s a sort of lag in the system.
‘So, unless there’s a very rapid fall in the global prices, energy costs for people in the UK will stay high over the winter. They could even be higher. We just don’t know.
‘But of course we’re now in a situation where there are two factors that really make a difference.
‘(The) First one is whether there are any more strategic moves related to Russia, whether the gas taps get turned down or not. And the second is what the weather does.
Pictured: Octopus Energy Chief executive Greg Jackson said there is ‘no hiding’ the fact energy costs have risen ‘dramatically’, and acknowledged the cost-of-living crisis is ‘very real’
‘Essentially what matters now is, is Europe going to be filling its gas storage because we’ve got mild weather? Or is it going to be emptying it because we’ve got bad weather?
‘So, depending on the weather between now and the winter, there could be a very big difference in energy prices in the next few months.’
Mr Jackson was asked if he can promise that his company will not send the ‘heavies’ round if people cannot pay and instead be ‘generous’.
Mr Jackson told LBC the challenge is that all those who do not pay add to the costs for everyone else.
But he added: ‘We don’t send the heavies. We work with people to try and get them through times like this – listening, helping where we can.
‘Our company has never sent the heavies round and we’re not going to.’
Around 22million homes saw a 54 per cent increase on Friday in energy bills, as experts predict an average home will cost a massive £400 to heat and power in January 2023
Around 22million homes saw their gas and electricity bills increase by 54 per cent as the new price cap came into force on Friday.
The rise, which came as temperatures fell below freezing this week, will add nearly £700 to the average annual bill as the nation battles a cost of living crisis.
But many customers say suppliers have hiked their direct debit payments by even more than this – with some demands doubling.
Government economists have forecast that the Ukraine crisis and soaring cost of wholesale energy means the price cap will have to rise another 42 per cent in October to reach £2,800 for the average household.
It means those living solely off the state pension could see their income obliterated by heating costs.
Comparison site The Energy Shop said heating and powering the average home will cost £1,859 between October and March – peaking at £395 in January when temperatures hit their lowest.
Chief executive officer Scott Byrom said: ‘Families need to be aware that the worst is very much still to come.
‘It is like looking at a tsunami approaching and we know it is going to hit us soon.’
The price cap limits the price suppliers can charge households on standard variable tariffs for gas and electricity.
Energy regulator Ofgem has been urged to investigate suppliers hiking direct debit demands above the price cap rise.
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