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Competition Bureau strengthens competition in Ontario’s water heater industry — Fact Sheet

November 6, 2014

Agreement with reliance comfort limited partnership:

A consent agreement registered with the Competition Tribunal resolves the Bureau’s concerns with Reliance’s practices. The terms of this agreement apply in certain markets in Ontario and prohibit Reliance from:

Reliance must also take certain steps to make it easier for customers to terminate their rental agreements and return their water heaters to Reliance. It is also required to pay an administrative monetary penalty of $5 million and contribute $500,000 to the Bureau’s investigative costs.

Commitments from EnerCare Inc.:

After learning of EnerCare’s plans to acquire Direct Energy’s water heater rental business in Ontario, the Bureau approached EnerCare in order to reach a resolution that would put an end to Direct Energy’s anti‑competitive policies and practices after completion of the transaction.

It is important to note that EnerCare was not the subject of the Bureau’s application regarding Direct Energy’s practices and has not engaged in any anti‑competitive behaviour. However, given its acquisition of Direct Energy’s water heater rental business, the Bureau has obtained written commitments from EnerCare that it will not continue Direct Energy’s anti‑competitive practices. These commitments include:

As a result of its acquisition of Direct Energy’s Home and Small Commercial Services business in Ontario, EnerCare will be one of the largest providers of water heaters in certain parts of Ontario. EnerCare and EnerCare Solutions own a portfolio of approximately 1.1 million water heaters and other assets, rented primarily to residential customers in Ontario.

Areas of operation in Ontario:

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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