OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau is cracking down on hot tub and spa retailers who claim their products are good for the environment as well as your body.
The bureau said Thursday it has filed an action with the competition tribunal against two Alberta spa retailers and their directors, Brent and Rochelle Marsall, for claiming their products were associated with the Energy Star program. The federal agency said EcoSmart Spas and Dynasty Spas claimed their hot tubs and spas were eligible for certification under the international program that sets standards for energy efficiency and environmentally friendly consumer products.
“No hot tubs, spas or insulation products for sale in Canada are eligible for certification or any other form of association with the Energy Star program,” the bureau said in a statement. This is the first such filing for the bureau, although it said it successfully negotiated with nine other hot tub and spa retailers into dropping their green promotional claims. The bureau said it is seeking for the tribunal to order the spa owners to cease environmental claims in sales promotions, publish corrective notices and pay administrative monetary penalties.
As the behaviour dates back to 2007, a spokesman for the Competition Bureau said the maximum penalties that can be applied are $50,000 per individual and $100,000 per business. In 2009, penalties for a first offence were increased to up to $750,000 for an individual and $10 million for a corporation.