Various groups are calling for a freeze on Hydro-Québec's rates until they can be reviewed rigorously.
Brace yourselves, an increase in your Hydro-Québec bill is set to take effect in April. But, there are groups that have got our backs and are trying to make sure we don't get ripped off by the increase.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Option consommateurs, and the Association québécoise des consommateurs industriels d'électricité (AQCIE) are demanding for a freeze on Hydro-Québec's rates until the company "undergoes a rigorous review by the Régie de l'énergie to ensure that it does not further burden consumers and businesses already hard hit by cost increases."
In an October 22 news release, Hydro-Québec announced that its rates would be increasing by 2.6% in April 2022 in order to keep up with inflation, which is double 2021's increase of 1.3%.
In a press release, the above-mentioned groups said they haven't seen such an increase in rates in over 15 years, "with inflation projected at more than 5% for the coming year," they claimed.
These groups worry that with the rise in inflation on every day expenses, a major increase in Hydro-Québec prices will put many Quebecers in a tough financial situation. "This increase will be particularly burdensome for low-income households who often live in poorly insulated homes and have few means to reduce their energy consumption."
The press release also stresses that a rise in electricity rates will cause another hit to small businesses — as if the pandemic wasn't bad enough.
"Hydro-Québec charges more than it needs from its Quebec customers to provide electricity distribution service. With a general rate increase of at least 5.1% anticipated as of April 1, 2023, this is a reminder of the need for and the essential role of the Régie de l'énergie in promoting transparency in the annual rate-setting exercise," said Jocelyn B. Allard, President of the Association québécoise des consommateurs industriels d'électricité.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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