Ad description

A website for Magnatech Technology,, a company providing magnet technology for boiler systems, seen on 27 February 2021, stated "Fewer emissions for the same volume of fuel consumed and a reduced carbon footprint ... using the most powerful Neodymium Magnets available today. This proprietary method of harnessing powerful magnet technology and controlling combustion behaviour consistently, is why the Magnatech System is so effective in delivering both energy saving and reducing carbon emissions that last a lifetime".


The complainant, an independent energy consultant, who believed that magnet technology had no effect on fuel efficiency, challenged whether the claims “Fewer emissions for the same volume of fuel consumed and a reduced carbon footprint” and “energy saving and reducing carbon emissions” were misleading and had been substantiated.


Magnatech Technology Ltd said that their technology had been sold globally since 2007, but pointed out that their product could not be practically applied to combustion engines. They provided 18 case studies, documents pertaining to the TRITECH-ETV (Environmental Technologies Verification) project, a peer-reviewed study, a literature review, an unpublished Master’s dissertation and a Schedule from the Sales Agreement they sent to clients.



The ASA considered that business consumers to whom the ad was directed would understand the claims “Fewer emissions for the same volume of fuel consumed and a reduced carbon footprint” and “effective in delivering both energy saving and reducing carbon emissions” to mean that the product would save energy through higher levels of fuel efficiency, which in turn would result in lower levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

We assessed the evidence provided by Magnatech. The 18 case studies looked at the impact of Magnatech’s products on gas consumption in commercial heating systems, including supermarkets, pubs, offices, care homes and a school. The case studies, which had been prepared using information provided by the energy managers at each client business, used heating degree day (HDD) calculations to compare gas consumption for the year preceding and the year proceeding the installation of Magnatech’s products in the properties. We understood that HDD calculations were widely used in energy management programmes in the UK, with the aim of mitigating the risk of reported energy savings reflecting differences in weather in any two given periods. We noted from the Sales Agreement Magnatech provided a guarantee to their customers that they would observe a decrease in fuel consumption of 6% once Magnatech’s system had been installed. The Agreement stated that the saving took into account a number of factors, including production demand, ambient temperature and other changes of parameters governing boiler control. We also understood that occupancy had been taken into account. We considered that meant those elements had likely been controlled for in the case studies provided. However, we noted that the results presented in the case studies had either been self-reported by the organisations involved, or reported by Magnatech, but had not been independently verified. For that reason, we considered they were not adequate substantiation for the claims.

We understood that the TRITECH-ETV project was a pilot project aimed at developing an EU-wide scheme for validating the performance of environmental technologies. As part of the pilot, Magnatech’s product was used on boilers at a pharmaceutical factory and fuel consumption was measured without the magnet from October until November 2004, and then with magnets from January until March 2005. HDD data was used to account for the differences in outside temperatures across the two periods and a reduction in fuel consumption of 10.2% was observed.

We sought the view of the ETV Secretariat, who told us the ETV Scheme had been implemented as a pilot only, between 2013 and 2019, but that the Scheme had never been officially recognised by the European Commission. The pilot had resulted in the establishment of a list of EU verified Energy Technologies. We noted that while Magnatech had participated in the pilot project, it did not appear on the list of verified Energy Technologies. The Secretariat informed us that it was because the verification of Magnatech’s technology had never been processed by any of the accredited verification bodies. We also noted that as part of the pilot, Magnatech had gained certification to use the claim “Magnatech Fuel Conditioning will reduce hydrocarbon fuel consumption of a boiler by at least 6%”. However, we considered certification was not adequate substantiation for the claims being made, and in any case did not refer to a reduction in carbon emissions or footprint.

The peer-reviewed study applied magnetic fields to fuel pipes and observed the temperature of the resulting flame increase. It concluded that magnetic control of combustion and air flows could be possible. However, the study did not relate to the product advertised. We therefore considered it was not adequate substantiation for the claims.

The literature review looked at the effect of magnetic fields on fuel and on the performance and emissions of different types of internal combustion engines. It concluded that the literature showed fuel consumption performance in engines could be improved with magnets. However, some studies referred to in the review presented contradicting results where emissions of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide were concerned.

Furthermore, the literature review had indicated that there was no consensus on whether the use of magnets on fuel systems could decrease carbon emissions and it had considered the application of the technology to internal combustion engines, to which we understood Magnatech’s product could not practically be applied. We had also not seen the studies referred to in the review in full, as the review only provided summaries. For those reasons, we considered it was not adequate substantiation for the claims.

The Master’s dissertation examined the effects of Magnatech’s products on a laboratory boiler, recording results with the magnets, with no magnets, and with the magnets in different positions on the boiler fuel line and air intake. The study concluded that while there was an improvement in nitrogen oxide emissions, there was no significant improvement in oxygen, carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide emissions as a result of the use of Magnatech’s product. We therefore considered that while the study had shown the use Magnatech’s products had resulted in a reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, it had not shown a reduction in other greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions. In any case, we further noted that the study was an unpublished Master’s thesis and had not been peer-reviewed. For those reasons, we considered the study was not adequate to substantiate the claims.

We concluded that the body of evidence provided was not adequate substantiation for claims that the product would improve fuel efficiency, thereby saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and, therefore, the claims were misleading.

The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules  3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so.  (Misleading advertising),  3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation.  (Substantiation),  3.11 3.11 Marketing communications must not mislead consumers by exaggerating the capability or performance of a product.  (Exaggeration), and  11.1 11.1 The basis of environmental claims must be clear. Unqualified claims could mislead if they omit significant information.  (Environmental claims).


The ad must not appear again in the form complained of. We told Magnatech Technology Ltd to ensure that their future ads did not claim that their products could improve fuel efficiency, save energy or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without adequate substantiation.

CAP Code (Edition 12)

3.1     3.7     11.1     3.11    

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