Energy efficiency advert ruled as ‘misleading’

A complaint about a voltage-reduction equipment supplier’s advert has been upheld. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled certain claims made by EMSc in an online advertisement for its ‘Powerstar’ range were misleading and not substantiated […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A complaint about a voltage-reduction equipment supplier’s advert has been upheld.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled certain claims made by EMSc in an online advertisement for its ‘Powerstar’ range were misleading and not substantiated by fact.

The complainant challenged the claim that “70-80% of the total savings come from the negative power feedback while 20-30% come from the improvement in the equipment efficiency”.

They said this misleadingly suggests the efficiency of connected equipment was improved at reduced voltage.

The ASA said the company should not claim a typical reduction regardless of the type of equipment fed by the mains supply and said it needs to have evidence prepared before making claims of this nature.

The firm said the level of technical knowledge and proficiency readers of their website were likely to have meant it was unlikely they would be misled.

EMSc supplied a report compiled by the University of Warwick, which it believed demonstrated Powerstar improved energy efficiency by reducing voltage and said an approved UK patent also proved this.

The company told the ASA it was willing to make changes to the claim to state that it applied only to electrical loads which were subject to improved efficiency when voltage was reduced.

The advert must not appear again in its current form.

EMSc said: “Whilst we maintain that Powerstar voltage optimisation solutions can achieve levels of savings in this manner, we acknowledge that it is not applicable to all electrical loads as there are a few exceptions, including electrical heating loads such as kettles.

“Powerstar collateral, which was in no way meant to mislead our valued customers or the wider general public, has been updated to reflect the outcome.”