Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

June 25, 2009 13:54 ET

Competition Bureau Cracks Down on Unsupported Energy Savings Claims

Seven Hot Tub and Spa Retailers Agree to Resolve Concerns

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) - The Competition Bureau announced today that it has secured commitments from seven Canadian hot tub and spa retailers making representations that their Dynasty Spas products are associated with the ENERGY STAR program. The Bureau concludes that these representations violated the Competition Act, in that they were materially false or misleading and influenced consumers in their decision to purchase the products.

The companies used a variety of energy efficiency claims in the sale and promotion of hot tubs and spas, conveying the impression that the products were eligible for certification by the ENERGY STAR program; the Bureau determined that they were not. All hot tubs and/or spas currently for sale in Canada, including their insulation, are ineligible for certification or any other form of association with the ENERGY STAR program, an international standard for energy efficient consumer products.

"The Competition Bureau works to promote an honest marketplace, where consumers can have confidence that trusted environmental consumer labels, such as the ENERGY STAR name and logo, will not be misused," said Andrea Rosen, Deputy Commissioner of Competition. "Energy efficiency and savings are key concerns to consumers, particularly in these challenging economic times."

The following companies have agreed to enter into a consent agreement with the Bureau:

- Dynasty Spas, Regina (SK)

- Dynasty Spas, Saskatoon (SK)

- Premium Wholesale Home & Leisure, Mississauga (ON)

- Wet N Wild Funtubs, Sudbury (ON)

- SubZero Hot Tubs & Pool Tables, Edmonton (AB); Ottawa, Mississauga, Kingston (ON); Halifax (NS)

- Valley Spas (formerly Dynasty Spas), Invermere (BC)

- Warehouse Guys, London (ON)

Among other commitments, these companies have agreed to stop making representations involving the ENERGY STAR program and will take actions to correct the misinformation in the marketplace. These include displaying a corrective notice at all retail locations and on all company Web sites, as well as sending this notice to all purchasers of the brand Dynasty Spas from March 2007 to the date of the signed consent agreement. They will further cooperate with the Bureau in its ongoing inquiry into this matter.

In June 2008, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the Competition Bureau jointly published new environmental advertising guidelines entitled Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers. These guidelines are part of the Bureau's ongoing initiative to improve the accuracy of environmental claims in the marketplace.

While the industry was provided a one-year transition period to review the guidelines and modify their marketing activities, the Bureau has been clear throughout that it would not hesitate to pursue egregious cases of deceptive marketing claims in the interim.

To qualify for the ENERGY STAR program, which is administered in Canada by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), eligible products must meet strict technical specifications. For a complete list of qualified products, please visit http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar.

The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Contact Information

  • For media enquiries:
    Public Affairs Branch
    Gabrielle Tasse
    A/Senior Communications Advisor
    819-953-7734
    or
    For general enquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    819-997-4282
    Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
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