Calor Gas complaint upheld

OFTEC has welcomed a decision by the Complaints Committee of the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) to uphold an earlier complaint regarding misleading energy savings claims made by Calor Gas in its consumer advertising.

Despite Calor Gas’ request for a review or appeal of the original decision from July 2013, the ASAI stood firm saying that it did not consider that the company had substantiated energy savings claims made in its campaigns. As a result, it demanded Calor Gas withdraw the misleading advertising with immediate effect.

The decision follows a lengthy initial investigation and secondary review based on a complaint originally lodged by OFTEC Ireland earlier this year. It related to energy savings claims regarding LPG versus oil fired heating made within Calor Gas’ brochure and on its website.

In the ruling, the ASAI considered that the method of calculation chosen by Calor Gas was ‘likely to exploit the lack of knowledge of consumers’ and was ‘likely to be misleading’.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland said, “We believe it’s in the best interests of consumers and the industry that all energy companies behave responsibly and are brought to account when they do not.

“This is a small but important victory for householders across Ireland who are often marketed heavily with energy saving claims that are contrary to the independent data available.”

This is the second OFTEC complaint to have been upheld by the ASAI against Calor Gas in Ireland. A previous complaint in 2012 led to Calor removing an incorrect cost calculator from its website.