Montreal, February 10, 2014
Hydro-Québec rectifies the content of a series of opinion pieces recently published in La Presse
Hydro-Québec must rectify the content of a series of opinion pieces published in La Presse on February 5, 6 and 7, written by François Cardinal.
About Rate L
Mr. Cardinal is misleading when he claims, that “Hydro-Québec decided to exclude all non-industrial companies, including the STM [Société de transport de Montréal], from the ranks of customers who used Rate L, a privileged category that will be spared the upcoming significant electricity rate increase.”
It is inaccurate to present Rate L as a “privileged” rate. It is simply the rate granted until recently to all of Hydro-Québec’s large-power customers, in compliance with the Distribution Tariff approved by the Régie de l’énergie. Talking about a privilege when it is in fact a regular rate is ill-founded.
Following a change to the Act respecting the Régie de l’énergie, as of April 1, 2014, Rate L will be reserved for large-power industrial customers, who will be exempt from the indexation of heritage pool electricity. All other Hydro-Québec customers, without exception, are subject to this indexation, in accordance with the Act, including the STM. The new Rate LG will be introduced for large-power customers not eligible for Rate L (commercial and institutional customers and municipal power systems). Rate L customers are therefore not “spared” by the rate adjustment currently under study at the Régie de l’énergie.
Rate provisions for greenhouse operators
Contrary to what was stated by the journalist, greenhouse operators benefit from existing rates which were approved by the Régie. These rates were recently granted to agricultural customers, provided they meet the conditions of application.
- The dual-energy rate is granted to meet the heating needs of eligible agricultural customers with standard-compliant equipment, installed and maintained at their own expense.
- They have the possibility of gaining access to an additional electricity option which already exists for large-power customers, applicable to photosynthesis for medium-power customers. Under this option, electricity is sold at a fixed monthly rate, set on the basis of market indicators, to customers whose operating flexibility is compatible with Hydro-Québec’s grid management requirements.
The measures intended for agricultural customers were submitted to and approved by the Régie de l’énergie and are in line with the government’s food sovereignty policy.
Finally, the priority to electrify transportation is in no way put into question. Hydro-Québec is very committed to it and ensures that its customers can benefit from all of the advantages of this clean, affordable fuel. Customers of public transit agencies will reap significant economic and environmental benefits from it.
In addition, with regards to individual transportation, customers who choose plug-in electric vehicles will also benefit from substantial savings since it is nine times less expensive to run on electricity than gas.
On this matter, the La Presse journalist is an ally.
The information in this press release was sent to the journalist prior to the publication of his articles.