The Federal Trade Commission sued four paint companies, alleging that they made deceptive claims about their products' insulation and energy-saving capabilities.
In the FTC's lawsuits against Superior Products International, SuperTherm, SPM Thermo-Shield, and F&G International Group Holdings, the FTC charged the companies with overstating the R-value ratings of the paints that they sell and making false claims about how much energy consumers would save by using these paint products. (The "R-value" is the measure of an insulating material's resistance to heat flow; the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness.) The FTC alleged that the companies promoted their paints as having R-values from 19 to greater than 30, when, in fact, the paints they sold actually had R-values of less than one.
The FTC also pointed to specific energy savings claims made by the companies, which the FTC alleged were false, such as "26% - 30% increase in energy efficiency" (Superior Products International), "INSULAT[ES] WITH A SINGLE COAT NO THICKER THAN A BUSINESS CARD" (SuperTherm), "HEAT BLOCKING PERFORMANCE EQUIVALENT TO AN R-22" (SPM Thermo-Shield), and "it is truly insulation . . . . It can get dirty, lose its reflectivity, and it will still insulate" (F&G).
In announcing the lawsuit, Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said, “Companies touting the energy-saving properties of their products must have scientific support for their claims. When they don’t, the FTC will step in to make sure they do.”
This case is an important reminder to not waste energy on making claims that you can't substantiate. If you're going to make energy savings claims, you'd better have competent and reliable scientific evidence to back them up.
"Companies touting the energy-saving properties of their products must have scientific support for their claims" -- Andrew Smith, Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection