I came across this blog post this morning and thought it a good idea to pass it along.
A quick summary: the Federal Trade Commission recently settled with five window companies claiming that their replacement windows would save consumers significantly on their monthly energy bills. As it turned out, they didn’t seem to have quite enough documentation to show that enough consumers were saving those amounts—so the level of savings they were advertising wasn’t quite warranted.
My take away from the article is essentially the same message for both consumers and the business community: tread carefully. Consumers should be cautious when dealing with businesses, and businesses should be cautious when they discuss fuel/energy savings in ads.
I’m well aware that there are plenty of home improvement businesses in the Cincinnati area that use statements like these in their ads. In many cases, they use them successfully—meaning that consumers respond to the ads expecting to save money on their energy bills, sometimes by 50% or more. Of course, the chances that you’ll save this much are pretty slim; the amount you’ll save when you replace your windows can sometimes depend greatly upon the quality of the windows you’re replacing (and even then, a 50% savings lies in the upper reaches).
The point, ultimately, is this: if you’re looking for replacement windows, take specific energy savings claims with a grain of salt. If a business is insistent that their products will save you significant amounts on your gas & electric bills, ask them to prove it. Additionally, if you’re seeing these kinds of claims in local ads, we’d be interested in contacting those businesses about their advertising messages.