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Fujitsu fined over efficiency claims

Fujitsu’s misleading claims about the energy efficiency of its heat pumps have seen it fined $310,000 under the Fair Trading Act.

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Fujitsu pleaded guilty to 7 charges brought by the Commerce Commission for claims the company made on its website and in pamphlets between June 2014 and October 2016.

It claimed it had “NZ’s most energy efficient heat pump range” and that a particular range was “the most efficient system ever”. It also claimed its e3 heat pump delivered “$4.92 heat for $1 of power”. However, that performance could only be achieved under lab conditions. In the real world, the performance of all heat pumps can be lower than the results achieved in the lab, especially at low temperatures.

Commissioner Anna Rawlings said efficiency was important for consumers concerned about the cost of running a heat pump and the impact on the environment.

“Consumers could not verify the accuracy of these claims for themselves but had to take them on trust,” she said.

It’s the first time a business has been convicted and fined for making unsubstantiated claims since changes were made to the Fair Trading Act in 2014.

Consumer NZ’s heat pumps database lets members compare the performance of different models before they buy. This means you can see which ones will cost you less to run over time. We also score heat pumps on heating and cooling efficiency, low temperature performance and noise.

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