Watchdog to investigate Worcester Bosch 'green' boiler claims - The Evesham Observer

Watchdog to investigate Worcester Bosch 'green' boiler claims

Evesham Editorial 18th Oct, 2023   0

WORCESTER Bosch is set to be investigated by the UK’s competition watchdog over whether customers have been misled by green energy claims.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will investigate whether the firm is misleading shoppers with confusing or inaccurate green claims in the advertising and labelling of its boiler products.

The investigation will focus on Worcester Bosch’s so-called ‘hydrogen-blend ready’ home boilers, which range in price from around £1,500 to £3,200, and whether the marketing claims made about these products may mislead shoppers into thinking they are more environmentally friendly than they are.

The CMA’s investigation will look at several marketing practices including the use of:

  • Labels or text stating that Worcester Bosch’s boilers can run on a blend of 20 per cent hydrogen and natural gas, which may give the impression this is a special feature despite all boilers in the UK being legally required to operate this way since the mid-1990s.
  • Information and messaging on the use of hydrogen for home heating in the UK – despite this not currently being available and its introduction being potentially years away and dependent on future government decisions.
  • Descriptions and information about the environmental benefits of ‘hydrogen-blend ready’ boilers which may falsely suggest that these boilers will reduce a household’s carbon footprint.

The CMA published a report earlier this year which highlighted concerns that a number of businesses were making potentially misleading claims online about hydrogen use in boilers and put the sector on notice for further action.

The CMA has also written to 12 other businesses which sell ‘hydrogen-blend’ boilers, after reviewing their marketing, to warn them they could be breaching consumer protection law and to remind them of their legal obligations.

George Lusty, Senior Director for Consumer Protection at the CMA, said: “Businesses need to be clear about the environmental credentials of the products they’re selling.

“This is especially important for heating products like home boilers, which are an expensive and long-term purchase.

“We set out our concerns earlier this year about businesses marketing boilers as ‘hydrogen-blend’. We’ll now be scrutinising green claims from Worcester Bosch to see if they mislead shoppers.

“In the meantime, we’ll continue to keep a close eye on practices in the sector,” he added

A spokesperson for Worcester Bosch said: “We are in receipt of notice of investigation from the CMA and are assisting them in full with provision of information as requested.”


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