The Canadian Competition Bureau has issued a fine of 25 million dollars to both Direct Energy and Reliance Comfort. The charges suggest that the two water heater rental companies have been gouging customers and making it ridiculously difficult to end contracts. Both Direct Energy and Reliance offer rental water heaters throughout Ontario.
Critics suggest that the industry is mainly a big scam as the cost of renting a water heater is nearly high enough to cover the cost of owing one. In addition the penalties to exit a contract are exorbitant and designed to confuse and frustrate a customer into giving up.
Interestingly this isn’t the first time that Direct Energy has been in hot water. In 2002 following a similar investigation the Competition Bureau enforced new rules and conduct guidelines that Enbridge Services (now Direct Energy) was required to follow under a 10 year consent order. The investigation found that Direct Energy re-engaged in the sleazy conduct in February of 2012.
As for Reliance, the company was apparently in a co-operative discussion regarding its hot water tank return policy. They also suggested that the company had initiated the difficult return policy in an attempt to thwart rival water heater companies.
I cant think of a better reason to simply purchase your own water heater, be that a tankless or just your conventional power vent. The rental business can be full of bureaucracy and technicalities. If you must have the peace of mind that comes with a full service, 24 hour emergency replacement then it might be worthwhile to look into maintenance plans. These are usually only 5-10 bucks a month, depending on equipment and gives you a full sense of security, oh ya, also no long term contract.
Interested in moving away form a rental and into owning your water heater?
We have helped many of our customers escape their long term contracts.
Here is an interesting post that I spotted on RedFlagDeals – that’s a popular Canadian site offering deals and helpful info to people. I recommend you check it out if you’re interested. Anyways this user had some questions regarding tankless water heaters and was looking for responses from current owners. Here is their inquiry.
I’ll be moving into a brand new town-home in downtown Toronto next year, and we need to decide on which option to go for the water heater:
Rent the tank system from Direct Energy (installed by builder…)
Buy a tank system and replace the rental
Rent a tankless system
Buy a tankless system
Our priorities are, in order of most important first:
Continuous hot water
Operating & Maintenance costs
I know the tankless system wins for 1 and 3… but what about 2, 4, and 5? After reading through this thread, I only read a few things about the noise issue. We want to mount this on a wall to save space and use that area as storage, but if it’s going to rattle our small townhome’s walls, that’s a serious concern.
Here Is Our Take
Right off the bat I would instantly recommend a tankless if your number one concern is space. A tankless wins hands down. I will go though the issues this user brought up briefly.
Space – tankless saves a lot, it wins.
Temperature – Toss up, but I would probably give it to the tankless because of its precision
Continuous supply – obviously the tankless takes this category
Noise – depends on which type of conventional tank you could install, but I call it a draw – both would probably be power vented units so the blower makes the most noise.
Tank wins but only for a short period as it will run out of water as more appliances demand hot water.
Tank is cheaper for sure – a tankless does have much higher upfront costs.
Tank – a tank will be cheaper on maintenance as there really isn’t any, but that tank has a lifespan of 8 years where as the tankless is 20. Yep you will pay a little more on maintenance but it more than makes up for it over time.
A tankless water heater creates hot water as you use it, thus the system will never run out. Some tankless units are made to supply one shower at a time, these lower BTU systems are ideal for cottage use here in Ontario. For residential or commercial units we recommend that a tankless have a bare minimum BTU of 150,000 in Toronto and areas.
Tankless Energy Savings
Most older conventional type tanks have an efficiency rating well below 60 percent. According to a recent study by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission, tankless water heaters reduce energy costs by an average of 46%. This increase in energy savings can be up to $150 per year.
In addition to increased efficiency tankless water heaters also have much longer life spans than hot water tanks. Your conventional 40 or 50 gallon tank likely has an 8 year warranty and has a steel tank (not stainless steel) which will rust through in about 12 years. Tankless systems are made with copper or stainless steel and can last for 20 years or more.
How much do tankless water heaters cost?
Smaller tankless units with an efficiency of between 80 and 85 percent cost about $2000 to $2750 installed, depending on brand and your homes venting requirements. A larger model with an efficiency of between 94 and 98 percent usually cost about $3000-$4500, again this is highly dependent on your home and the model you choose.
GoTankless: We are your top choice for water heater installations in Toronto and surrounding areas.
Installing a tankless water is a much more complex process than installing a conventional hot water tank, it is important that your installers have the necessary expertise.
Call (647) 925-1930
for more information or to schedule a quote on a tankless water heater installation. Or fill out our online request quote form.