I read a Blog Post from my friend Allison Bailes earlier today. He writes for his company Energy Vanguard. You can read his Blog. Lots of good stuff.
He ended the post today with this paragraph.
Really now. If a ground source heat pump is a renewable energy source, then so is a refrigerator. Can you see why this drives me crazy?
A few minutes ago, I was reading through my Twitter Stream. I ran across a Tweet that used a phrase, to quote Allison ‘This Drives Me Crazy!” Here is the Tweet:
“If your central AC unit is more than 12 years old, replacing it with a new model
could save you 30%”
My question is 30% of what? Your total gas, water and electric bills combined? Just your electric bill? or maybe just the cooling cost of your electric bill?
OK! So, if it is probably a percentage of the cooling cost; where are they in this great country. If they are where my friend Bud Poll can do their audit, well he says they don’t see too much AC in Maine! Down in the Texas Hill Country, they use quite a bit more! My friend Bob can do your audit down there. He says they don’t get much use out of their furnaces. So which is it? Wouldn’t it be nicer if these folks would give you a $$ figure?
Confusing, yes! Now consider the other claims you hear! A new furnace saves X%. Added insulation can save you y%. And let’s not forget those window guys! The will save you the most percent! If you believe the TV commercials.
Percentage Claims are meant to sway you to do something! They appeal to your emotions. Because of the ambiguity they are not logical. Consider recent action over misleading and unproven claims by Window Manufacturers. The Federal Trade Commission is charged with investigating complaints about Truth in Advertising. You can find the News Release and other info with a simple search on any of the search sites. Just use ‘window’ and ‘FTC’.
Window Marketers Settle FTC Charges That They Made Deceptive Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings Claims
Companies Must Have Scientific Evidence Before Making Marketing Claims
The release goes on to specifically target the percentage claims.
So when someone calls, knocks on your door or otherwise makes a claim that the product they are selling will save a percentage ….. think about it.
When I’m faced with claims on Twitter, mail coupons, TV commercials telling me how I can save 40% and 30% and 35% of my energy bills, I just have to ask: “Are you going to pay me?” Can you see why this drives me crazy?