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A Consumer Perspective

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Most Canadian homeowners own their water heaters, except in Ontario where water heaters are predominantly rented. While the largest rental market is found in Ontario, there are also smaller markets in the Maritimes, Manitoba, and Quebec. Utility providers in these provinces, including Hydro Quebec, Manitoba Hydro, and NB Power, have offered water heater rentals, but seem to have had less take up than in Ontario. Rental companies have also recently targeted Alberta to expand their rental business.

While the water heater markets across Canada have traditionally been stable and relatively free of consumer complaints, new concerns have recently been reported, particularly in the Ontario market. Recent media coverage reflecting an increase in consumer complaints has led the Homeowner Protection Centre to examine homeowner discontent with the rental water heater market.

The objective of this report is to review water heater products available across the country, review the history of the rental market, especially in Ontario, identify homeowner water heater issues, and conduct an analysis and provide recommendations to improve the marketplace for consumers.

The Homeowner Protection Centre of Canada received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or the Government of Canada.

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Homeowners And Water Heaters

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Homeowner Brief

The Water Heater Homeowner Brief is specifically tailored for homeowners to understand the rental water heater issue, as outlined in our recent report Domestic Hot Water Tanks and Other Equipment: A Consumer Perspective. It highlights the core concepts and findings from our research which are important for homeowners to be aware. The one-page brief helps Homeowners understand the issues. More importantly the brief outlines the key steps and initiatives that homeowners themselves can take to protect themselves

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Examining The Impact Of Regulations On Consumers

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The growth of the Condominium market in Canada has been significant. According Statistics Canada, in 2006, 11% of all household were condominiums. Ontario statistics indicate condominiums comprise almost 62% of the new home construction in the province. Many have acknowledged that there is a need to review and update condominium laws to better enhance consumer protection. A number of issues have been raised in recent Ontario consultations into Condominium Act reforms, including condo manager qualification.

The Homeowner Protection Centre has received funding to undertake a research project titled Condominium Managers – Examining the Impact of Regulation on Consumers. This project seeks to provide an evidence basis to reform and update consumer protection in the condo marketplace. Our focus on the roles and responsibilities of condo managers will also help governments and consumer advocates to develop more informed positions.

Expected Completion: March 2014
The Homeowner Protection Centre of Canada received funding from Industry Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in the report are not necessarily those of Industry Canada or the Government of Canada.

Categories: Uncategorized