TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Dec. 21, 2012) – EnerCare Inc. (TSX:ECI) and EnerCare Solutions Inc. (collectively, "EnerCare") today announced that they have learned that the Interim Commissioner of Competition (the "Commissioner") has filed applications with the Competition Tribunal against both Direct Energy Marketing Limited ("Direct Energy") and Reliance Comfort Limited Partnership under the Competition Act (Canada) alleging that they each hold dominant positions in the supply of certain types of water heaters in certain areas of Ontario and that they have each engaged in a practice of anti-competitive acts through their respective water heater return policies and procedure s.
Direct Energy has denied the allegations and has publically stated that "it will vigorously defend its position before the Tribunal." It also stated that "The allegations made by the Competition Bureau question certain of Direct Energy's practices and procedures that are designed to inform and empower consumers. Direct Energy strongly believes that all customers and homeowners deserve to have all of the necessary information for them to make informed and intelligent choices. Such practices and procedures do not inhibit competition."
"We believe the competitive landscape of the Ontario water heater rental market has fundamentally changed over the last number of years," said John Macdonald, president and CEO of EnerCare, "We have been a strong advocate for enhanced consumer protection and fair competition."
EnerCare notes that the scope of the Commissioner's application is a fraction of the breadth of the Consent Order that expired earlier this year and that certain of the practices that the Commissioner seeks to impose are, and have always been, in place.
Although EnerCare believes that the allegations made by the Commissioner are without merit, the outcome of the application cannot be predicted with any certainty and may be determined in a manner adverse to EnerCare. However, while the return policies and procedures are a key component to fostering consumer awareness and protection, provided the Tribunal strikes an appropriate balance between competition and consumer protection, EnerCare does not believe that changes to Direct Energy's return practices and procedures as a result of the Commissioner's application, if any, will have a material adverse effect on attrition over the long term.
About EnerCare Inc. and EnerCare Solutions Inc.
EnerCare own a portfolio of approximately 1.2 million installed water heaters and other assets, rented primarily to residential customers in Ontario. Ene rCare Inc. also owns EnerCare Connections Inc., a leading sub-metering company, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.
Additional information regarding EnerCare is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or through EnerCare Inc.'s website at http://investors.enercare.ca. Information on the sub-metering business is also available at www.enercareconnections.com.
Certain statements in this news release, including statements regarding the potential impact of the Commissioner's application on attrition, are forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectation regarding EnerCare's results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information available to them and/or assumptions management believes are reasonable. Many factors could cause results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information. Although the forward-looking information is based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, EnerCare cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, EnerCare does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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