TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Nov. 9, 2010) – The Consumers' Waterheater Income Fund ("Fund") (TSX:CWI.UN) and The Consumers' Waterheater Operating Trust ("Trust") report that DBRS Limited ("DBRS") has changed its ratings on the Trust's outstanding senior notes from "A" with a negative outlook, to "A" (low) with a stable outlook. According to DBRS, the new rating level addresses the change in the Trust's competitive landscape (attrition) which, while the Trust has lowered attrition from 2009 levels, remains higher than past levels. DBRS noted that, while the Trust's credit metrics have experienced only a modest deterioration over the past two years, that is largely a result of higher rental rates, which DBRS indicates is not viewed by it as a permanent solution to a declining customer base. According to DBRS, the trend has returned to stable, reflective of the Trust's actions to stabilize its customer base and reasonable credit metrics, which provide downside protection. DBRS indicated that the proposed conversion of the Fund from a trust structure to a corporate structure will not affect the Trust's credit rating as it is not expected to result in any substantive changes other than to legal structure. This change in rating is in line with Standard & Poor's ("S&P") current rating on the senior notes of "A-", with a stable trend. Based on discussions with S&P, management does not expect any change in S&P's rating on the senior notes as a result of the conversion.
About The Consumers' Waterheater Income Fund and The Consumers' Watherheater Operating Trust
The Fund and Trust own a portfolio of approximately 1.3 million installed water heaters and other assets, rented primarily to residential customers in Ontario. The Fund also owns Stratacon Inc. a nd EnerCare Connections Inc., leading sub-metering companies, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.
Additional information regarding the Fund and Trust, including their current Annual Information Forms, is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Additional information on the Fund's sub-metering businesses is available at www.stratacon.ca and at www.enercareconnections.com.
For further information: The Consumers’ Waterheater Income Fund
The Consumers’ Waterheater Operating Trust
905.695.7793 or 1.800.781.2943