Glen Dimplex boss warns of wider emission claims scandal
The Volkswagen energy efficiency data-rigging fraud may spread to other industries
Published 04/10/2015 | 02:30
Manufacturers of consumer devices are overstating their energy efficiency achievements, drawing parallels with the way Volkswagen defrauded the world about car emissions, Glen Dimplex boss Sean O'Driscoll has warned.
The Volkswagen scandal has raised concerns that manufacturers across other sectors could be making false claims about their carbon impact.
Manufacturers are making untrue claims about energy efficiency and there is no way to challenge them, O'Driscoll told the Sunday Independent.
Glen Dimplex is one of the world's biggest manufacturers of heating devices.
Founder O'Driscoll, one of Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs, is an advocate of renewable energy and efficiency.
His company has pioneered several new energy-saving technologies, including heaters which allow households to store energy generated by solar panels on the roofs of their homes.
Condemning the emissions cheating scandal at Volkswagen, which he described as fraud, O'Driscoll said: "We have a major problem with companies who are making false claims about their products.
"They make false claims around their energy efficiency, they make false claims around their technical capabilities. It has become more prevalent in the last 18 months than it has ever been."
Glen Dimplex sought legal advice in the UK on the matter. "The way we operate our business is that the higher the standards, the better. Because then we get a payback for our research and development.
"We really encounter problems when people who don't make the same level of investment in research, launch products with false claims, advertise those false claims and we are powerless to do anything about it," O'Driscoll said. "When it boils down to it, we have discovered that there is very little legislation to prevent it.
"I suspect it is an issue across a number of industries. I can't say what those industries are but I know it is an issue in our industry."
Electronics manufacturer Samsung has also been hit with allegations that its televisions do not stand up to energy consumption claims.
Tests by research group ComplianTV reportedly found that Samsung's European television models consistently returned lower energy consumption rates under testing conditions compared to the consumption rates returned in real-world use.
Samsung has vehemently denied that its TVs are built with a cheat device to beat tests.
The European Commission said it will investigate any allegations of cheating the tests and has pledged to tighten energy efficiency regulations to outlaw the use of so-called "defeat devices" in televisions or other consumer products, after several European states raised similar concerns.
Sunday Indo Business