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AGA advert banned over ‘lowest running cost’ claim

An advert for AGA electric cookers has been banned over claims it had the lowest running costs of any similar range (Alamy/PA)
An advert for AGA electric cookers has been banned over claims it had the lowest running costs of any similar range (Alamy/PA)

An advert for AGA electric cookers has been banned over claims it had the lowest running costs of any similar range.

The ad for the AGA eR7 Series on the agaliving.com website stated that the range offered the lowest running costs for any heat-storage cast-iron range cooker, as it was “fully programmable for the most efficient operation”.

However rival Everhot challenged the claim, arguing that it was misleading.

AGA acknowledged that their main competitor was Everhot but believed that their products were not directly comparable.

Unlike other AGA models, the electric range was designed to be switched off when not in use, unlike Everhot’s products which were recommended to remain on.

Therefore, because their products could be turned off when not in use, AGA believed they offered consumers the chance to achieve the lowest running costs.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) noted that the purpose of heat-storage range cookers differed from a standard oven, and that they were designed to store and distribute heat so that they could be left on all the time.

However it said consumers would expect the “lowest running cost” claim to refer to the cost of running the different functions of the cooker, and not a reference to the savings made over time.

The ASA assessed running cost data provided by AGA and Everhot, for its 110i model, finding that having only the hot plate on full power on the AGA eR7 cost 18p an hour to run, while the Everhot 110i hot plate and simmer plate on full power cost 6.6p per hour to run.

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The ad for the AGA eR7 Series stated that the range offered the lowest running costs for any heat-storage cast-iron range cooker, as it was ‘fully programmable for the most efficient operation’ (AGA/PA)

The ASA said: “Even though the Everhot data also included the use of the simmering plate, we understood that the Everhot 110i model used less energy than the AGA eR7, and therefore considered that the Everhot model was more efficient in its energy use for the hotplate function.”

The data also showed that the hottest oven of the AGA eR7 cost 13.5p an hour to run, while the Everhot 110i cost 12.3p an hour.

The ASA said: “Again, we understood from the data that the Everhot was more efficient in its energy use for the hottest oven function.

“Because of that, we did not consider that the data demonstrated the AGA eR7 had the lowest running costs of any cast-iron heat-storage range cooker.”

The ASA also evaluated the running costs for both range cookers with all oven and hotplates having been left on continuously for seven days, finding that the AGA eR7 used 252 kWh and the Everhot 110i used 116.41 kWh.

In “Eco” mode over seven days, the ASA found that the the eR7 used 0.347 kWh an hour, less than the Everhot 110i model’s 0.531kWh, but said this did not in itself demonstrate it would have the lowest running costs as it would be used by consumers.

Furthermore, the ad did not include any information to help consumers compare the running costs with other heat-storage cast-iron range cookers, or direct them to where they could find it.

The ASA said: “As such, the ad did not allow consumers or competitors to verify the comparison and we concluded the ad breached the Code.”

It concluded: “Because the Everhot was more energy efficient when in use, we considered that the data supplied by AGA was not sufficient to substantiate the claim.

“Furthermore, we noted that AGA did not provide us with the running costs for any other cast-iron heat-storage range cookers.

“Because the claim was likely to be understood by consumers as a comparison with all other cast-iron ranges, and we only received evidence related to two models from Everhot, we considered that the data supplied was not sufficient to substantiate the claim.

“For those reasons, we considered the data was not sufficient to substantiate that the AGA eR7 had the lowest running costs of any heat-storage cast-iron range cooker, and concluded the ad was misleading.”