ScottishPower’s advert for a remote control heating system has been banned by the advertising watchdog for making misleading claims.
It was on the Big Six supplier’s website and claimed the technology, which allows consumers to adjust their heating and hot water remotely, could save them up to 20% on their gas bills.
ScottishPower said a trial of the ‘Connect Remote Heating Control’ found 60% of the participants “who engaged remotely with the product” more than once per week had their boilers on for an average of 21% less time than those who engaged less than once a week.
It said it had amended the headline claim to make it clear the data showed a user could reduce their gas heating use by up to 20% by using the product and the claim was based on 70 homes.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would understand that if they bought and used the product, they could cut their energy use and save up to 20% on their gas heating bills.
It added those who read the small print were likely to believe all 70 individuals in the trial used the product more than once a week and their usage had dropped by 20% in comparison to others.
The ASA stated: “The trial did not prove participants’ usage had been influenced by their use of the product and differed from their usual consumption. Therefore, we considered the trial did not demonstrate there was a causal relationship between a customer’s engagement with the product and their energy usage.
“For those reasons, we considered that the evidence provided was not sufficient to substantiate the claim that the product could result in a reduction in energy usage or a corresponding reduction in a user’s gas bill and concluded that the claim was misleading.”
ScottishPower added it accepts the ruling but is “confident” in its product.
A spokesperson said: “We have made some small changes to our online communications to highlight our customer study, which showed that Connect can reduce heating usage by up to 20%.”