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When Glass Shows no Class

A warning has come from the BFRC about misleading advertising that can get those making unjustified claims finding themselves in hot water

The British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) has issued a warning that recent trade and consumer advertisements have been appearing featuring the claim ‘A-rated glass as standard’ or similar.

It points out that this is incorrect because there is no such thing. “There is no scheme in the UK that rates glass in isolation,” stated Gary Morgan, Technical Director, BFRC. “All window energy ratings (WERs) schemes operate in an identical way of rating the whole window, including glass, frames, spacer bars and gaskets.”

Dr Morgan went on to explain that was not possible under current European Regulations to provide an energy rating for glass in isolation from the other window components. While it was true that certain glazing specifications are widely used in ‘A’ and ‘A+’ rated windows, the glazing itself did not guarantee an ‘A’ or ‘A+’ rating for the whole window,” he said. “The frame system also has to be thermally efficient to enable the complete window to obtain a favourable rating.”

BFRC managing director Chris Mayne added that an advertising claim that a type of glass is ‘A’ energy rated was likely to breach the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (and/or Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading 2008).

‘Misleading’ advertising is described as material that in any way, including its presentation, ‘deceives or is likely to deceive the traders to whom it is addressed or whom it reaches’ and by reason of its deceptive nature, is likely to affect their economic behaviour; or, for those reasons, injures or is likely to injure a competitor.

An offence under the Regulations can attract a £5,000 fine if heard in a magistrates’ court, or an unlimited fine and/or two years’ imprisonment if heard at crown court. Enforcement is by local authority trading standards officers.

Caption                    Glass in windows cannot be said to be ‘A’ rated as they form part of the window which is energy rated. Misleading advertising is not only wrong but can bring the full force of the law down on those peddling the misinformation.

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