In 2002 Direct Energy signed a consent order with the Federal Competition Bureau that protects customers from long-term contracts and exit fees related to hot water tank rentals.

The consent order expires in 2012 but Direct Energy asked for relief based on the intense competition from door-to-door rivals using the same tactics.

The Competition Bureau agreed to long-term contracts and exit fees with water heaters installed after 16 September 2010, or in new homes built after January 1st, 2011.

Direct Energy refers to a ‘buy-out schedule located on our website’. When offering to purchase a home with a rented water heater, ask for a copy of the contract to see if you are liable for an exit fee or long term contract. Find out if there’s a termination fee to end the contract early and, if applicable, ask your REALTOR® to adjust your offer so the seller pays this fee.

Send me an email if you’d like to talk more about this. I’m at david@davidweir.com.

Cheers!