OFTEC disappointed after ASA fail to appreciate subtleties of LPG complaint

1st November 2006

OFTEC The Oil Firing Technical AssociationOFTEC has reacted with disappointment to a recent adjudication by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), concerning a graph showing central heating costs in their consumer oil heating and cooking leaflet.

It is understood that the complaint was brought by a Warwickshire based LPG supplier who whilst acknowledging that the running costs of oil heating, might be cheaper than LPG, claimed that OFTEC’s advertisements did not take account of the installation costs of both fuels.

Additionally, it was claimed that the graph was further misleading because the boiler efficiencies used did not meet modern Building Regulations, tank costs were included for LPG but not for oil, and the algorithms used to calculate the costs were out of date.

The ASA upheld both complaints.

The illustration at the centre of the dispute, shows a comparison of central heating costs for domestic heating fuels including LPG and oil, and was based upon information provided by independent domestic energy consultants, SALKENT. Such figures are now produced by Sutherland Tables.

The ASA’s main point is that they have asked OFTEC to make it clear in the future that the running cost shown for LPG includes the cost of the rental of the storage tank. OFTEC is happy to comply and to emphasise to consumers that this rental is an additional charge that they will have to meet every year.

Richard Gales, Chief Executive of OFTEC said “We believe the ASA have not fully appreciated the subtleties of the complaint put to them, but we accept the ruling and we will comply with their requirements”.

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Article Last Updated 6th November 2006
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