Renewables firm made misleading claims

3rd August 2011


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  • Renewable ,
  • Energy ,
  • Generation

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IEMA

A Northamptonshire firm's claim that air-source heat pumps could cut a household's winter fuel bills by 40% has been ruled as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

ASC Renewable Solutions, which installs heat pumps and solar panels, made a series of claims about the efficiency of air-source heat pumps in a mailshot including that they were three times more efficient than conventional gas, LPG or oil-fired boilers.

The advert was brought to the attention of the ASA by LPG supplier Calor Gas, which challenged five of the company’s claims with regards the level of savings that householders could achieve with the pumps and their performance in comparison to traditional heating systems.

The ASA upheld three of Calor Gas’ complaints, agreeing that ASC Renewable Solutions was not able to substantiate its claims of 40% savings on winter fuel bills or the efficiency of the pumps, and in doing so had mislead customers and breached advertising standards.

In its ruling, the ASA argued that possible savings from installing an air-source heat pump were dependent on multiple factors, including the price of the fuel being replace, the efficacy of the previous system and the costs of electricity to power the pump. This meant that ACS Renewable Solutions’ could not claim with any certainty a specific level of cost savings and so its 40% figure was misleading.

The ASA told the firm that it was not to send out the mailshot again and that it had to ensure it “held robust evidence to substantiate savings and energy claims in future”.

David Knibbs, managing director at ASC Renewable Solutions, confirmed the company had amended its promotional material in light of the ASA’s ruling.

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