EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) is taking legal action against an electric hot water cylinder company for making misleading claims about the energy efficiency of its cylinders.
This is the second prosecution by EECA - last December electric hot water cylinder manufacturer Superheat Ltd was convicted and fined, after pleading guilty for failing to meet energy efficiency regulations.
EECA Chief Executive Andrew Caseley says the latest action is against Atlantic Australasia Proprietary Limited which sold cylinders under the Steatite Premium range. EECA alleges in the year to January 2019, the Atlantic website stated the cylinders were the most energy efficient storage water heater on the market but test reports for four cylinder models show they failed to meet energy efficiency regulations.1
Mr Caseley says an investigation of the claims has resulted in EECA commencing prosecution under provisions of the regulations, on the grounds claims made about the energy performance of the cylinders were false or misleading.
“Prosecution is a last resort for EECA because our preference is to work with industry. However, this issue is important because hot water makes up about 30% amount of the average energy bill and failure to comply with regulations is a long-term cost to households. It is also an equity issue for those suppliers who are compliant with the regulations.”
Mr Caseley says 73,000 electric hot water cylinders were sold last year in New Zealand and plumbers and the public are reliant on claims by importers and manufacturers about the energy efficiency of hot water cylinders.
“Electric hot water cylinders are the most popular choice for New Zealand homes to heat water but tend to be an emergency purchase which means homeowners frequently don’t have the time to make a considered decision.”
EECA has published its test results on its website so consumers can assess which models have passed testing Product testing results | EECA.
At the first court appearance, the Atlantic Australasia Proprietary Ltd prosecution was adjourned to 2 December 2021 for a case review hearing in the Lower Hutt District Court.
1 EECA is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Energy Efficiency (Energy Using products) Regulations 2002 [the Regulations]. EECA check tests regulated products to ensure they meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards and label requirements, as well as the energy efficiency claims of manufacturers and suppliers.
Note to Editors
EECA is the government agency that works to improve the energy efficiency of New Zealand's homes and businesses and encourages the uptake of renewable energy.
Our purpose is to mobilise New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use.