Hydro-Québec: more expensive during peak times

If you’re used to leaving your devices on when everyone else is after dinner, you may need to change your habit. Hydro-Québec aims to persuade a majority of Quebecers to switch to the more expensive modulated hydroelectric tariff during rush hours by 2028-2029.

The state-owned company estimates it will take every effort to find 100 TWh to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by supporting Quebec’s energy transition.

Hydro-Québec’s energy surplus is melting like snow in the sun, and Québec’s electricity demand will increase by 12% through 2029.

The state company is considering ways to meet demand while remaining efficient.



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One of the solutions would be to reduce consumption during the hours when this demand is very high and charge $0.51 more per kilowatt-hour.

In order to avoid an increase in their bill, the customer would have to change their habits, for example by running the dishwasher later in the evening or in the morning.

The reflection is real, confirms Hydro.

“The idea of ​​such a measure would not be to get more money out of consumers’ pockets,” said Maxence Huard-Lefebvre, spokesman for the state-owned company.

“We want to encourage rational use of electricity to support new uses while limiting the cost of our future supply,” says Mr. Huard-Lefebvre.

The company does not intend to force its residential customers to use a dynamic tariff. However, he is toying with the idea of ​​forcing his business customers (Tarif L) to take over.

“Does the character [de réduction] Peak should automatically apply to certain industries? […] The new context requires in-depth reflection from us,” says the spokeswoman.

Peak consumption for blockchains and greenhouses must already be limited. Others could be added.

“For these scenarios, peak-time consumption would be billed at more than 50¢/kW. »

For its retail customers, the company intends to give everyone access to its two dynamic pricing programs.

“We would like the contribution of dynamic peak pricing to reach more than 350 MW in winter 2028-2029, which is the equivalent of the Péribonka power plant,” said Mr. Huard-Lefebvre.

Currently, only 160,000 of Hydro-Québec’s 4 million customers participate in a dynamic pricing program.

They are handpicked upon invitation to participate in pilot projects.

From next winter, the company wants to increase the number of participating customers to 250,000.

During peak periods, these customers will receive a notification from Hydro asking them to reduce their consumption during a specified period.

By lowering the temperature of their thermostats by a degree or two, they release energy.

Hydro-Québec also wants the Régie de l’énergie law to be modernized to reflect changes in the energy context and to review its tariffs.

$0.51 Furthermore

– Residential customers enrolled in the “Flex D” program pay a lower base rate, but if they consume energy during winter peaks, their kWh will cost an additional $0.51 during critical times.

-There is also a basic winter credit that gives you a discount if you reduce your consumption during peak periods.

-Hydro estimates that customers who sign up for the Winter Credit or “Flex D” plan save an average of $40 and $50 annually, respectively.

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