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National Home Services - Water Heater

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Deal Addict
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May 24, 2006
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National Home Services - Water Heater

Hi

Just tonight, an agent from National Home Service - Water Heater Division came by to check my water heater. He said since it is 10 years old, I should probably change it. So then he explains how National will replace mine with a high efficiency model with $0 installation fee but a slight increase to my monthly rental charge (to $24.25). They will also return my existing one to Direct Energy and there will be no charge to me.

Anyone have experience with this? I can't find much information on Google so I figure I will give RFD a try. I am not very familiar with water heaters, so if anyone can share their insights, that will be great. My biggest concern is that this agreement is for a 15 year term.

Thanks
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Dec 30, 2007
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Toronto
br0pbr0p wrote:
Dec 16th, 2008 10:02 pm
Hi

Just tonight, an agent from National Home Service - Water Heater Division came by to check my water heater. He said since it is 10 years old, I should probably change it. So then he explains how National will replace mine with a high efficiency model with $0 installation fee but a slight increase to my monthly rental charge (to $24.25). They will also return my existing one to Direct Energy and there will be no charge to me.

Anyone have experience with this? I can't find much information on Google so I figure I will give RFD a try. I am not very familiar with water heaters, so if anyone can share their insights, that will be great. My biggest concern is that this agreement is for a 15 year term.

Thanks
My friend got it changed but with Direct Energy. Two better benefits he got from above, 1) there is no rate increase from the current rate he was paying and 2) No contract term .
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May 10, 2005
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I believe that Direct Energy is obligated to replace your water heater at around 10 to 12 years. I got a call from them about 5 years ago and they said it was a scheduled replacement. I had not had any problems with it but it was nice to see that they kept track. The installers said they did this as a preventative measure.
Give them a call and see if yours is scheduled for replacement anytime soon. tell them about the offer form a competitor and they may even offer you a new one to keep you as a customer.
Newbie
Dec 16, 2008
1 posts
Toronto
As Direct Energy's Director of Communications, there are a couple of points I'd like to share with you before you make your decision.

First, there are many manufacturers of water heaters which affords Direct Energy the opportunity to ensure we have the most up-to-date features and technology available on the products we provide our customers. In short, a Direct Energy water heater is built to last. Based on our years of experience, the lifespan of a water heater (which is dependant on a number of factors including the use of the water heater and the type of water in the premises), is an average of 16 years with minimal changes in efficiency.

Second, your rental water heater from Direct Energy will provide dependable hot water for as long as you wish to continue our business relationship. Unlike other rental water heater companies operating in Ontario, as a customer of Direct Energy you are not bound by a fixed-term service contract, not for 6 months, not for 15 years. In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other rental water heater companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.

Lastly, rental water heaters are a very important part of Direct Energy
Member
Nov 14, 2006
454 posts
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jorzech wrote:
Dec 17th, 2008 3:30 pm
As Direct Energy's Director of Communications, there are a couple of points I'd like to share with you before you make your decision.

First, there are many manufacturers of water heaters which affords Direct Energy the opportunity to ensure we have the most up-to-date features and technology available on the products we provide our customers. In short, a Direct Energy water heater is built to last. Based on our years of experience, the lifespan of a water heater (which is dependant on a number of factors including the use of the water heater and the type of water in the premises), is an average of 16 years with minimal changes in efficiency.

Second, your rental water heater from Direct Energy will provide dependable hot water for as long as you wish to continue our business relationship. Unlike other rental water heater companies operating in Ontario, as a customer of Direct Energy you are not bound by a fixed-term service contract, not for 6 months, not for 15 years. In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other rental water heater companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.

Lastly, rental water heaters are a very important part of Direct Energy
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Mar 24, 2008
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jorzech wrote:
Dec 17th, 2008 3:30 pm
As Direct Energy's Director of Communications, there are a couple of points I'd like to share with you before you make your decision.

First, there are many manufacturers of water heaters which affords Direct Energy the opportunity to ensure we have the most up-to-date features and technology available on the products we provide our customers. In short, a Direct Energy water heater is built to last. Based on our years of experience, the lifespan of a water heater (which is dependant on a number of factors including the use of the water heater and the type of water in the premises), is an average of 16 years with minimal changes in efficiency.

Second, your rental water heater from Direct Energy will provide dependable hot water for as long as you wish to continue our business relationship. Unlike other rental water heater companies operating in Ontario, as a customer of Direct Energy you are not bound by a fixed-term service contract, not for 6 months, not for 15 years. In addition, as a customer of Direct Energy (and once again, unlike other rental water heater companies in Ontario), you are not subject to possible termination fees if for some reason you exit your contract.

Lastly, rental water heaters are a very important part of Direct Energy’s overall business and we are fully committed to our 1.4 million water heater customers. Supporting the hot water needs of this many Ontario families is something we take very seriously and shall continue to do so in the future. Everyday, a team of 700 highly-trained and licensed technicians are committed to ensuring the upkeep of our customers' water heaters.

If you'd like more information, please contact our dedicated water heater line at our 1-866-502-0034.

1. The very fact a water tank rental company has a "Director Of Communications" should tell you what level of income it has.

Scenario A: All DE customers with a powervented 50 gallon tank: $2808/16 = $175.5 x 1,400,000 = $245,700,000/a

2. A sixteen year life expectency of a water tank means the average customer wastes nearly three grand on this relationship.

Ex. Power Vented 50 Gallon tank
$24/m x 12 m/a = $288

Cost to purchase same tank: $1800

$1800/$288 = 6.25 years 16-6.25=9.75
9.75 x $288 = $2,808

3. "Everyday, a team of 700 highly-trained and licensed technicians are committed to ensuring the upkeep of our customers' water heaters."

1.4 million tanks divided by 700 techs means 2000 tanks per guy. These are not complex appliances. They are cash cows for the rental companies. Ontario is the only place I know of where they are so prominent.

Rentals makes sense when the need is temporary. When you are out of town you rent a car because buying one doesn't make sense. If you need to move you rent a truck for the same reason. Some people like to rent a cottage for a week, a movie for a night, or an expensive tool for a specific home repair. If you need something for sixteen years, renting it costs you money.
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Ockham wrote:
Dec 18th, 2008 12:48 am
1. The very fact a water tank rental company has a "Director Of Communications" should tell you what level of income it has.
blah blah and much more blah...
money.
Spoken like a true salesperson in competition with Direct Energy :lol:
Wouldn't they hire you as a sub-contractor?
Jorzech was kind enough to come here and provide some facts on the rental of these units. Spin it as you wish.
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Mar 24, 2008
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Spoken like a true DE disciple. Folks, stay away from the Kool Aid.

They have asked me to sub-contract and I've declined.

Do the math. It doesn't lie or spin.
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Ockham wrote:
Dec 18th, 2008 2:38 am
Spoken like a true DE disciple. Folks, stay away from the Kool Aid.

They have asked me to sub-contract and I've declined.

Do the math. It doesn't lie or spin.
You know, I am far from a disciple of Direct Energy or any other provider of energy, gas or electric. But I am also not evangelical about ownership of a hot water tank.
I do subscribe to the thought that not every situation is right for all people. As is so obvious on these forums, not everyone has the significant amount of cash to purchase the "innovations" that you so espouse, that a very viable option for them is to use the services that are provided by the providers.
The math and your spin on it is immaterial if one does not have the funds to pay for, or the means of borrowing or, a desire not to get into more debt to pay for hot water, tank or tankless.
There are also, as you can tell by the types and numbers of questions on this forum, many many people who do not possess the skills or knowledge (no disrespect to anyone) to diagnose and fix any problems that may occur so the rental aspect comes with the security of knowing they will not be surprised with the exorbitant emergency service call (as you fully know) charges and repair costs.
My only reason for disputing your comments is to balance out your claims. You can bring the company executives wages into your equation as you can bring the sub contractors charges as well but, they are not a factor, just your attempt to justify your math. The products you buy and sell also have executives and workers to pay, as you have with your employees and your profits ( I am assuming you are not a charity).
No dispute that sometimes (perhaps even often) it is better to buy rather then rent but you also have to admit that each situation is different and each persons present finances will dictate the decisions they make.
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Mar 24, 2008
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Pete, I appreciate that varying circumstances call for options. All I'm pointing out is the financial outcomes of renting a water tank (or anything else for that matter) costs the consumer money beyond a very short term.

Protecting yourself from an "expensive" water tank repair bill would make sense if that money was greater than the rental costs. A water tank is not a complex appliance; there's not much to repair. If the ventor motor needs to be replaced that shouldn't cost more than one year's rent. By the time a water tank would need such a repair, the homeowner has paid many times over for it.

Direct Energy and Reliance aren't doing anyone any favours by offering low rentals for water tanks. They exist from the relationships they have with home builders who want to keep the price of their houses as low and profitable as possible.
Sr. Member
Nov 4, 2007
754 posts
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Toronto
I've been renting for 10 years and someone pointed something interesting out to me - Ontario is close to the only place on earth where hot water heaters are rented. When I talk to my American friends about it, they think I'm crazy. It's big business, but doesn't make sense. It's the only household appliance we rent, yet it's probably the most reliable.

Do you rent your fridge, stove, microwave, dish washer, washing machine, toaster? Why not?

Financially it doesn't make sense to rent if you plan on staying with the house more than 5 years as mentioned above. Most rental companies have buy out package. I'm thinking of replacing mine entirely. Even considering a tankless, but there are other considerations around that as well.

Just my 2 cents.
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May 10, 2005
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Truce, Okham :)

Kasm, actually I have lived in BC and Alberta and those options were very much available to me. In Ontario it seems builders have been in bed with the utilities for a long time forcing new home buyers into contracts but is not an exclusive Ontario phenomenon.
As for appliance rentals well, in the US (as opposed to Canada) a very many people rent their appliances. Very large companies like Rent-A-Center, Aaron's are all over the US. There are many places in each city in Canada where you can do the same thing as well but it does not seem as prevalent.
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Mar 24, 2008
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No worries Pete, we're not at odds.

Renting something long term isn't smart money. It's a way poor folks stay poor. Our society has gotten away from saving money and less is available at the end of the month. This credit crisis proves short term thinking, instant gratification, and materialism aren't the safe way to go.

The wiser choice for hot water heating is to purchase or finance the appliance. The math is that simple. Any repair costs will be considerably lower than infinite rental charges.
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Ockham wrote:
Dec 18th, 2008 2:56 pm
No worries Pete, we're not at odds.

Renting something long term isn't smart money. It's a way poor folks stay poor. Our society has gotten away from saving money and less is available at the end of the month. This credit crisis proves short term thinking, instant gratification, and materialism aren't the safe way to go.

The wiser choice for hot water heating is to purchase or finance the appliance. The math is that simple. Any repair costs will be considerably lower than infinite rental charges.
Darn you Ockham....I wanted last word :lol:
[OP]
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May 24, 2006
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So...where should I buy a water heater? I live in Markham.
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