The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) year-long non-public investigation into energy-saving claims utilized by window/door manufacturers and their larger dealers is now beginning to show results for the government. FTC attorneys have begun submission of complaints and/or consent decrees against industry companies targeted for their use of energy savings claims in advertisements and in customer energy pledges.
Great care must be taken in weighing the cost-benefit analysis of litigation with the FTC versus entering into a public consent decree. FTC consent decrees, for example, generally control or restrict the contractor’s or manufacturer’s advertising practices for up to 20 years. We urge all contractors and manufacturers to ensure that their pricing practices, advertising, and marketing are sanitized and legally vetted not only in regard to energy saving claims, but also as to general state and federal law compliance. Contractors especially are warned not to rely on energy-saving claims of manufacturers without evidence to back that those claims up!