Five companies that sell replacement windows in numerous states have agreed to stop making exaggerated and unsupported claims about the energy efficiency of their windows, and how much money you can save on your heating and cooling bills by installing their windows.
The Federal Trade Commission alleges the five companies engaged in deceptive practices by making unsupported energy efficiency and money-savings claims — in some cases, that consumers could cut their energy bills in half by using replacement windows alone.
The companies named in the settlements are: Gorell Enterprises, Inc.; Long Fence & Home, LLLP; Serious Energy, Inc.; THV Holdings LLC; and Winchester Industries.
Some of the companies allegedly promised to pay consumers if they didn’t see a 40% or 50% reduction in home energy bills, or that the windows would pay for themselves in energy savings as quickly as eight years.
The cases are part of a broad FTC effort to ensure that environmental marketing is truthful and based on solid scientific evidence.
The agency’s Shopping for New Windows guide explains which factors really do influence energy savings and outlines what to consider when shopping for new windows, such as cost, material, style, and installation, as well as how an energy-performance rating label can help you choose the right windows.
Under the proposed settlement, the five companies will have to have scientific proof to back up any claims that:
- Replacing your windows will save you a specific amount of energy.
- A product will save customers “up to” a certain amount of money or energy savings.
- A specific number or percentage of consumers who replace their windows with the company’s windows will achieve energy savings or reduced heating or cooling costs.
And if the claim is based on your home being in a specific region of the country, the company has to tell you that, too.