Hydro-Québec announced today that it would freeze electricity rates beginning 2020-2021 season. Beginning on April 1st, 2020, Hydro-Québec customers across the board will save a total of $1 billion dollars.
According to Hydro-Québec's official press release, the rate freeze is coming after Bill 34, "which will guarantee low electricity rates and simplify the rate-setting process".
Over the next five years, Hydro-Québec won't be filing a rate adjustment with the Régie de l’énergie, which have heavily scrutinized the corporation's annual expenditures, according to TVA Nouvelles.
I spoke with Gary Sutherland, Senior Strategic Councillor for Hydro-Québec, to help us better understand how these savings will affect the average residential customer.
Mr. Sutherland explained that the tariff freeze was decided after much negotiation with the government. If you remember, Hydro-Québec owes $1.5 billion dollars to customers because of overcharges.
The Quebec government tabled Bill 34, their solution to Hydro-Québec's $1.5 billion dollar problem. The bill has stringent terms that dictate how Hydro-Québec can set their rates.
The government finally decided on a $500 million dollar reimbursement package that will be spread out to Hydro-Québec's residential customers.
Mr. Sutherland explains that along with the details of Hydro-Québec's tariff freeze that, "there was the idea there is going to be a $500 million dollar reimbursement to all Hydro-Québec customers and that comes down to about $60 dollars [of savings] per your average residential client."
Hydro-Québec's tariff freeze is a five-year plan that will in total, save customers $1 billion dollars.
Mr. Sutherland says that "the five-year tariff freeze ends up being a savings, collectively, for all our clients - commercial, residential, industrial, across the board - of a $1 billion". Keep in mind that this still part of a government-mandated reimbursement as part of Bill 34.
"Therefore, there is a $60 reimbursement per residential client that is linked to the $500 million dollar reimbursement and then a total of $1 billion in savings that are linked to the tariff freeze", says Sutherland.
Hydro-Québec customers should expect to see savings in the 2020-2021 season. The tariff freeze will be in place for five years.
To contact Hydro-Québec and to access your customer account to see how savings will affect you, please visit their official website.