The forward-looking statements contained in this section are not historical facts but, rather, reflect EnerCare's current expectations regarding future results or events and are based on information currently available to management. Certain material factors and assumptions were applied in providing these forward-looking statements. See "Forward-looking Information" in this press release.
EnerCare continued to experience improved customer retention during the first quarter of 2013. Overall, we are encouraged by the positive trend we have seen in the last three quarters. We continue to expect that attrition levels will continue to have mild volatility from quarter to quarter. Recently, the Ontario Government introduced consumer protection legislation in the Ontario legislature in respect of door-to-door sales. We strongly support the introduction of legislation that will help protect consumers from aggressive and questionable door-to-door sales activities. If passed, we believe that the proposed legislation is very much a positive development for consumers, our customers and our rental water heater business and will greatly assist in our efforts to combat attrition. Going forward we continue to believe that the factors that have led to the decline in attrition over the last three years, including improving consumer awareness, and if passed, the proposed consumer protection legislation, will create a more favourable environment for further improvement in customer retention. We will continue to explore new initiatives and modifications of existing programs, as well as enhanced customer product offerings and service programs.
We continued to have additional expenses in the first quarter of 2013 in association with the completion of the transition to our new customer care and billing system. However, we have shown a reduction in costs to administer sub-metering customer accounts from the third quarter of 2012 and expect that we will see further sustained cost reduction going forward.
We are very pleased with our reduction in total debt following the repayment of the 2009-1 Notes in April of 2012 and our recent refinancing of the 2010 Notes in November of 2012 and the 2009-2 Notes in February of 2013. With these financing activities, we have successfully extended and laddered our maturities, provided flexibility to allow for further potential reductions in our future leverage and secured a significant reduction in future interest expense. We estimate that the annual interest savings is approximately $12,800.
For 2013, our key priorities and initiatives in the rentals business are to continue to improve attrition by continuing to invest in the education and protection of consumers relating to door-to-door solicitation, enhancing our customer value proposition and supporting Bill 55 and growing the rentals business through portfolio additions and new products by accelerating originations in respect of HVAC. In respect of sub-metering, our priorities and initiatives are to grow the business to be cash flow positive by year end by improving productivity and operating efficiencies, increasing the number of billable units and augmenting our electricity and water sub-metering offerings to provide a "whole building" solution such as with thermal metering, the first installation of which is underway.
As previously announced, EnerCare has set its annual and special meeting for June 3, 2013. Jim Pantelidis, chairman of the board, and management will provide an update to shareholders on EnerCare's achievements in 2012 and strategy for furthering shareholder value.
Financial Statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis
EnerCare's financial statements and management's discussion and analysis for the first quarter of 2013 are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or on EnerCare's investor relations website at http://investors.enercare.ca.
Conference Call and Webcast
Management will host a conference call and live audio webcast to discuss EnerCare's financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013 on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). John Macdonald, President and CEO and Evelyn Sutherland, CFO, will be on the call. Details of the call and webcast are as follows:
By telephone: 416.340.2218 or 1.866.226.1793 Please allow 10 minutes to be connected to the conference call.Webcast: http://www.gowebcasting.com/4257 Note: this is a listen-only audio webcast. Media Player or Real Player is required to listen to the broadcast.Replay: An archived audio webcast will be available at: http://www.enercare.ca/ for one year following the original broadcast.
EnerCare owns a portfolio of approximately 1.2 million installed water heaters and other assets, rented primarily to residential customers in Ontario. EnerCare also owns EnerCare Connections Inc., a leading sub-metering company, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada. Additional information about EnerCare is available on SEDAR www.sedar.com or on EnerCare's websites at http://investors.enercare.ca and www.enercare.ca.
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectation regarding EnerCare's and EnerCare Solutions Inc. growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information available to them and/or assumptions management believes are reasonable. Many factors could cause results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information. These factors include risks associated with the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the conversion. Although the forward-looking information is based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, EnerCare and EnerCare Solutions Inc. cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, neither EnerCare nor EnerCare Solutions Inc. intend and do not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.