Enercare Reviews & Complaints

Avatar photo
Updated July 25, 2023
Rated 1.4 out of 5
1.4 out of 5 stars (based on 230 reviews)
Very good1%

Bottom line

Renting a water heater, furnace or other home appliance from Enercare is similar to buying an extended warranty as it works as form of insurance. You pay more for the product upfront and get support should anything go wrong.

However, it is a great moneymaker for providers and a bad deal for the majority of their customers and renting these appliances is not common practice in Canada outside of Ontario. Purchasing your own unit can result in substantial savings over time, according to the Competition Bureau.

Further reading: Is renting a water heater worth it?


  • No large up-front cost
  • Low monthly payments
  • They handle service and repairs


  • High cancellation and buyout fees
  • Many complaints about their maintenance and repair services
  • No coverage for damage caused by leaking tanks

About Enercare

Enercare installs, rents and services water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC products to 1.9 million customers in Canada and the US.

The company has its roots in the 1950s when the Consumers’ Gas Company of Toronto introduced rental hot water tanks. They worked with home builders to pre-install gas-powered water heaters to increase usage and reliance on natural gas as a source of fuel.

The Ontario Energy Board approved the deregulation of gas in 1992, which meant that consumers could purchase gas from companies other than their utility. IPL Energy acquired Consumers’ Gas in 1993, rebranding it Enbridge Consumers Gas in 1998. UK-based Centrica purchased Direct Energy in 2000 and acquired Enbridge Home Services in 2002. The Consumers’ Waterheater Income Fund (CWIF) was then created to house the water heater rental portfolio – had the highest earnings per employee in Canada for 4 years. The name was changed to EnerCare in 2011.

  • Enercare acquired Direct Energy’s Ontario services business in 2014.
  • Enercare acquired Service Experts – a chain of HVAC service companies in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta and 29 US states – in 2016.
  • Enercare was acquired by Brookfield Infrastructure in 2018.

Interestingly, for its size and importance, Enercare Inc. does not seem to have its own Wikipedia page.

Who owns Enercare?

Enercare is owned by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP, a US-based, publicly traded infrastructure asset management firm and subsidiary of Brookfield Asset Management which manages over $600 million worth of assets. They purchased the company in a friendly takeover for $4.3 billion in 2018.

How much does it cost to rent a water heater from Enercare?

Ontario residents can rent a hot water tank from Enercare (previously Direct Energy) for $20 to $35 per month depending on the size of the tank. Tankless water heater rentals are commonly found in new builds and cost $35 to $50 per month.

In addition, the agreements stipulate that these charges are increased every year by the greater of 3.5% and CPI + 2%.

These rental agreements continue until the “end of the useful life” of the unit, which is from 10 to 20 years and an average of 16 years. At $35 per month, payments made during the agreement would add up to $4200 to $8400 – 3 to 6 times the installation cost of the tank (about $1500).

Further reading: Is renting a water heater worth it?

Enercare contract example

More: Terms & Conditions based on install date

How to cancel an Enercare water heater contract?

If your unit was installed before September 15th, 2010, you can terminate your agreement at any time with no buyout. You have to return it to them (free) or they will disconnect and remove it for you for $75.

Since 2010, Enercare has used a “buyout only, useful life” (BOULC) contract, which can only terminated by:

  1. the customer buying out the unit according to the applicable buyout schedule
  2. Enercare or its authorized service provider determines that the useful life of the Water Heater has ended. The useful life has ended when having regard to the relevant factors, including without limitation, the age of the Water Heater and the cost of any repairs to be made to the Water Heater, that it is no longer commercially reasonable to repair the Water Heater.

    Put simply, the contract dies with the unit. If the water heater is no longer functional, such as if the motherboard were to malfunction, and is deemed irreparable by Enercare, then the contract is terminated and you DO NOT have to accept a replacement water heater from Enercare (doing so will create a new contract). Instead, you are free to install your own.

Example buyout schedule

How to save money if you’re stuck on an Enercare contract?

As reported by Mark Wessel in the Toronto Sun, after several drawn out calls lasting over 40 minutes each time with Enercare, is that if you push hard enough, they’ll put you through to a supervisor who with prodding, will give you a 20% discount off the buyout price. Alternatively, they offered 15 months in credits – equivalent in value to over $500 that was paid directly to our Enbridge account in order to continue renting for another 15 months.

This kind of offer has also be reported in several Reddit threads, which have stated the offer starts at 3-month credit and can go as high 15 months.

You’ll have to call in and complain, ask to cancel/buyout the unit. Then maybe tell them you’ll escalate the issue to their executives, consumer protection and go to social media, etc. They’ll offer you 3 months free. Say no. They’ll offer 6 months. Say no again. They’ll offer 12 months. Take that. Call back in 12 months and repeat.

You’ll still have a contract, but after the period of free rental credits ends, the buyout price would be lower than before as the unit would be more than a year older and you’ve saved hundreds of dollars in the meantime.

They really, really don’t want you out of your contract.

Regulatory actions against Enercare and associated companies

2019 – Competition Bureau discontinues its investigation

The Bureau announced that it has discontinued its investigation due to “insufficient evidence” However, information gathered in the course of the inquiry indicated that the high required buyout prices, and the duration for which they were required, went substantially beyond the recovery of Enercare’s initial investment. It found that in 2018, Enercare had:

  • A market share of approximately 80% in a relevant market that includes rental gas-powered water heaters in the Enbridge Gas Territory. 
  • The ability to impose consistent price increases above the rate of inflation.
  • High internal rates of return 

2017 – Competition Bureau launches investigation into Enercare

Following the receipt of numerous customer complaints about Enercare’s water heater return policies, contracting practices, and alleged breaches of the 2014 commitments, the Bureau launched an investigation into whether Enercare Inc. violated the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act.

2015 – Direct Energy pays $1 million penalty

The Bureau’s investigation determined that Direct Energy re-engaged in similar conduct after the consent order expired in February 2012, administering a $1 million penalty even though Direct Energy had exited the market by selling to Enercare.

2014 – Competition Bureau gets Enercare to commit to avoiding anti-competitive practices

Enercare acquired Direct Energy’s portfolio of rental customers in October 2014.

In November, the Bureau got Enercare to commit in writing to:

  • Not requiring customers to obtain an authorization number before returning their unit
  • Allowing a new supplier to terminate a customer’s account on their behalf
  • Not unreasonably restricting where and when a unit can be returned
  • Not charging unwarranted fees to switch providers or terminate contracts
  • Opening new return depots

2004 – Direct Energy fined for sales agents forging contracts

Direct Energy was fined $157,500 in 2003 after investigators discovered 25 of their sales agents were forging contracts to trap Ontario and US citizens into long-term energy contracts.

2002 – Direct Energy prohibited from anti-competitive practices for 10 years

The Competition Tribunal found that Enbridge Services (later known as Direct Energy) was engaging in practices that intentionally suppressed competition and restricted consumer choice, including:

  • a requirement to call to obtain authorization to return a rented water heater;
  • aggressive retention tactics during these calls;
  • restrictions on when and where water heaters can be returned; and
  • unwarranted fees and charges.

The consent ordered prohibited similar conduct for a period of 10 years. An investigation found that Direct Energy re-engaged in similar conduct after the consent order expired in February 2012.

Customer reviews

Rated 1.4 out of 5
1.4 out of 5 stars (based on 230 reviews)
Very good1%

Service Technician

Rated 5 out of 5
June 29, 2023

Received EXCELLENT service from the Service Technician – NIMA

He did an excellent job in diagnosing the issue that caused the AC to stop working. He arrived at the time he said he would and completed the repair in a timely manner. Nima was very knowledge and explained in detail what the repair entailed. He took the time to explain and answer all our questions.

The organization is very fortunate to have an employee as Nima.



They cant even book an appointment properly

Rated 1 out of 5
June 29, 2023

Booked an appointment the day before, no one contacted, no one showed up. When I called to inquire all they tried to do is sell me a service plan. YOU CAN EVEN SHOW UP TO THE APPOINTMENT

Ridiculous. Wasted my afternoon.


5yr Old Water Heater Rented and it broke (4th time). Don’t buy/rent from Enercare!!!

Rated 1 out of 5
June 29, 2023

[Typed in haste and anger]

This is Tuesday afternoon (2023-06-27), water heater went out last Thursday night the 22nd).

Tech came Friday eve, need replacement part he claimed and appeared to order it.

– no word as of Sunday

Called Sunday eve, no info yet sir….

Called Monday (x2 calls, btw each call is at least 30+ minutes after getting passed about many many time asking for validation questions each time)

– 1st, don’t see an order for parts, we’ll place one and get back to you

– 2nd 2 hrs later, because no call back so I called. Oh? we see an order was place Friday???, we’ll get back to you on part delivery (note part not parts)

Called Tuesday( x4 calls )

– 1st, we have no update, let me check and get back to you (got a ticket number this time) and lady said will get back to you in 2hrs and you can ask for me if longer. (name never was around for rest of calls)

– 2nd, 2hrs later…, I’m Looking for [name], she’s not available can I help, here we go again… got another ticket number after quoting the 1st one??? And was put on hold while she talks to parts department, end result parts will call me back in 5 minutes…

– 1st incoming call, hard accent all I got was parts are being shipped, I ask for a waybill number to track, he couldn’t do it but will call me back. ( call never happened )

– 3rd outgoing, no get back, so I called 2 hrs later, AND change in answer, 2 of the 3 parts are in, the third will be in Friday (8 days no hot water. Got mad enough to go as high as possible (complaint department)) and I simply asked/said “I would like hot water today, get the parts or send another heater!” nope can’t do that, old heater has to be fixed to deem it garbage(my word) but we are sorry for the 50th time today(not exaggerating). AND it gets better I got another ticket number to reference. I stated the first 2 tickets got me nowhere what does this ticket do? It will direct directly to the complaint department. But, I’m here now and you can’t do anything except give me another ticket and say your sorry yet again. I asked again “I need to talk to someone that cares about their customers and it’s me in this case”. Her Answer: Nope this is as high and you can go….

AND I add, we can’t book a service tech until after the parts arrive. So if parts happen to come Friday or fri-Night when’s the next tech available?? It’s July long weekend coming, everyone works the long weekend right??

Don’t deal with “enercare.ca” ever!!!!

Don Tilma

Hot water tank rental

Rated 1 out of 5
June 29, 2023

I can honestly say that Enercare is the worst company I’ve ever had to deal with! We have been in a multi year fight with them to correct a mistake on their part about billing us for a hot water tank we never rented!

Rose Kulmatycki

Pathetic customer service and company

Rated 1 out of 5
May 12, 2023

Overall pathetic customer service. All the call centres agents are so clueless and giving incorrect information. Every time transfers your call to one another with out Any resolution. Overall we had terrible experience with this company. They are charging for something which is not rental either, we have sent them the proof too. After everything we asked for buyout of the water heater luckily I have the proof in the email. Now they have sent me a letter with different buyout amount. Scam company and I hope karma will hit them back. As they are taking money of innocent people.

Harmeet Walia

Leave a review or submit a complaint

If you have experience with Enercare, we’re interested to know your thoughts. How long have you been with them and what do you think about their service, contracts and value? Let us know by leaving a review and sharing your experience below!

About the author

Avatar photo
Cansumer Staff
We want to help you discover, research, and select the best products and services that meet your needs, desires, and budget. See how we work Read more

Was this article helpful?

If you found this page helpful, you can send thanks and support future work by buying me a coffee.
Buy Me A Coffee

Leave a Reply to Isabella Cancel reply


  1. I have never received such shockingly irresponsible service in my life. After renting a tank for 16 years, when it did finally break I got no service. The repair person who came to my house said the new tank they brought would not fit. I had to beg them to empty the broken tank. They did not turn off the pressure valve or help in any way. And then began the long saga (which is still not over) of trying to get the tank removed and my account cancelled. I have been without hot water for over 1 1/2 weeks. I have spent hours on the phone, taking up my break time at work. This is without a doubt a bottom-of-the barrel customer service experience. Stressful, careless, unhelpful, irresponsible.

  2. Agree with other comments – a disaster when they took over Roy Inch’s maintenance services. You’ll be on hold for hour(s) waiting for these guys to even answer. Each appliance has to be serviced on different days. RUN, don’t walk to another service provider!

  3. Worst service ever – -basically NO service. Waiting on hold with no results for a regular maintenace appointment. They just don’t have any available appointments etween now and 2023. How is that possible – -why take ion customers if you can’t provide the service??? My inital provider soldor was bought by enercare resulting in the worst possible experience ever. Still waiting to hear form them about what they said they would do. Please avoid at all costs!

  4. The 2 installers who came to our house to install a new furnace cut the cable to our roof antenna. Left without telling us. Who does that??? This happened September 2021. Have been calling them since – promises of reimbursement but not one cent! Horrendous customer service.