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Wind turbine leaflet broke advertising rules; Npower carbon claims inaccurate, says ASA

An Npower newsletter promoting wind power broke advertising rules because its carbon offset claim was inaccurate, a watchdog ruled today.

A direct mailing from the energy giant claimed its wind power scheme would help prevent the release of 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas contributing to climate change, from fossil fuels.

But a campaign group complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that the carbon dioxide figure was out of date because currently gas not coal was the fuel being replaced by wind power.

The ASA found Npower’s newsletter broke rules relating to truthfulness, environmental claims and substantiation.

National Grid

It said the energy giant’s calculations were based on National Grid figures that are ‘no longer representative’.

‘We therefore concluded that the carbon offset claim was inaccurate and likely to mislead,’ the watchdog said.

The watchdog told Npower to make sure any future carbon savings claims were based on a ‘more representative and rigorous’ carbon emissions factor.

Responding to the ASA, Npower said its calculation used a carbon emissions saving figure for wind power-generated electricity which was recommended by the British Wind Energy Association.

Carbon dioxide

The energy giant used National Grid information to work out how wind power would offset carbon dioxide by displacing coal and oil-fired electricity generation, it said.

Npower told the ASA it believed there had been no change since the National Grid’s information was published in the way that wind power could offset carbon dioxide by displacing coal and oil-fired electricity generation.


10 October 2007