In December 2019, the Quebec government implemented Bill 34, titled "An Act to simplify the process for establishing electricity distribution rates." Among the new regulations for rate freezes, the Bill stipulates that Hydro-Québec is required to refund an average of $60 on your Hydro bill this year due to years of client overcharges. Some details might be unclear to some, so MTL Blog spoke with Cendrix Bouchard, Public Affairs Advisor for Hydro-Québec to clarify some details that you might be confused about.
"The exact total amount from this variance will be known to us at the end of the month."
"The amount a client will be refunded really depends on how much electricity they consumed between 2018 and 2019. It's going to be an average of $60 per client," says Bouchard.
This doesn't mean that you'll see a $60 refund on your Hydro bill when it next comes. It all depends on how much electricity you've consumed. Therefore, everyone will see a different amount but don't worry - you're getting a refund no matter what.
Hydro-Québec tells MTL Blog that before you receive your refund, there are a few salient points that you should be aware of.
First and foremost, all responsibility is on the company and Hydro clients won't need to chase down a refund.
"If you're still a customer of Hydro-Québec, there's nothing you need to do. The credit will appear on your first bill between the end of January and the end of April," says Bouchard.
"One important thing is that Hydro-Québec will not be texting or personally contacting people for their refund," says Bouchard.
"It's a known phishing method. We don't want our clients to be frauded. If you happen to receive a text from Hydro-Québec saying "click here to get your refund", it's not us, it's a fraud. We never communicate that way with our clients."
"If you're not longer a Hydro-Québec customer, you'll have let us know your address so we can send you a personal cheque. You can verify by accessing your client space on the Hydro app from your phone," says Bouchard.
"If you don't have access to your client space anymore, you can go online and fill out a form or call our customer service line."
"Your refund is based on a percentage of your consumption during 2018-2019," says Bouchard.
"For example, if you live in a small apartment, your refund might only be around $40. If you live in a large house, it could be up to $190."
In fact, both residential and commercial clients will benefit from this refund and both client groups will be under the new regulations outlined in Bill 34.
"The math is complicated because keep in mind that we have some commercial customers that will receive tens of thousands of dollars because they consume so much more," says Bouchard.
"Commercial clients will be getting their refunds in the exact same way as residential clients," assures Bouchard.
The refund will appear on your next Hydro bill sometime between the end of January and the end of April.
To access your Hydro-Québec client space, please visit the official website.