OFTEC Ireland has issued a reminder to boiler manufacturers regarding the use of energy savings data in trade and general advertising.

The organisation, which represents the domestic oil heating and cooking industry in Ireland, is reminding manufacturers to use only seasonal efficiency data, which is available on the Home-heating Appliance Register of Performance (HARP) database when quoting boiler efficiencies.

The HARP database was developed by the UK Building Research Establishment in partnership with Kiwa Gastec at CRE, Kovara and Heating & Plumbing Markets International and is based on the equivalent UK SEDBUK database.

The HARP database is a product efficiency database for home-heating appliances that are used in Ireland* and one of its main functions is to help homeowners identify efficient heating systems for their homes.

OFTEC is reiterating the importance of all sections of the industry using this standardised system, which is accepted across the heating industry in Ireland.

David Blevings, OFTEC Ireland said, “We believe it’s in the best interests of consumers and the industry that all manufactures and energy companies behave responsibly. It is vital that all manufacturers in particular use the agreed seasonal efficiency data when quoting their boiler efficiencies. This ensures the householder is getting the correct information, allowing them to make comparisons and informed decisions.”

“Most manufacturers take their obligations very seriously and that’s why we feel it is important to closely monitor activity in this area. Marketing installers and householders with efficiency claims that are contrary to the independent data available is not good practice and could be viewed as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland,” added Mr Belvings.

Paul Martin, program manager, technical standards development, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland added: "Consumers rely on accurate and transparent information and like-for-like comparisons to help inform their purchases. We would therefore prefer to see manufacturers only using efficiency levels quoted on the HARP or SEDBUK databases to maintain consistency across the industry. This will avoid consumers being unduly misled and make for more open competition within the industry, in turn driving higher efficiency standards."

OFTEC is responsible for protecting the interests of consumers, manufacturers and those involved in the supply of home-heating oil and equipment.