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Energy Firm to Drop Saving Claims

August 19, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation’s largest seller of ″duty cycler″ electronic devices has agreed to stop making claims that misrepresent the energy-saving ability of the product, the Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday.

The Trade Commission said Electronic Systems International of Norcross, Ga., has signed a consent agreement promising not to misrepresent the energy- saving capacity of its ″Savit″ duty cyclers.

Duty cyclers are devices which cause home heating and cooling systems to turn on and off more frequently than they normally would, which ESI claimed makes the equipment operate more efficiently, the FTC said.

A duty cycler looks somewhat like the popular setback thermostats now widely used in homes, but it is not the same thing. The cycler also differs from the energy load management devices used in industry to turn off heating and cooling equipment at preset times.

The trade body filed a complaint against ESI last year, charging the firm with falsely advertising that consumers could save 20 percent on energy costs, claiming that the device would save them its $400 cost in 14 months and asserting that the device was eligible for a federal tax credit.

In the agreement ESI promised to stop making those claims, to recall any promotional literature which included the claims, and to send letters to its dealers nationwide requesting that they not make any such claims in their advertising or promotions.

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