Montreal, April 20, 2021
Hydro-Québec settles class action out of court
Montréal, April 21th 2021 – A class action regarding administration charges paid by residential customers and certain commercial customers between January 1, 2008, and April 30, 2010, has been resolved through an out-of-court settlement with Hydro-Québec. The settlement amounts to $18 million.
This settlement is not an admission of responsibility by Hydro-Québec. The company upholds that its practices were compliant with the law, insofar as the annual percentage rate on which administration charges were based was set out in the Distribution Tariff and Conditions of Electricity Service, which together constituted a binding agreement between the government corporation and its customers, as previously recognized by various courts.
The complainant argued that the annual rate of Hydro-Québec’s administration charges should have appeared directly on customers’ bills.
The company decided to settle in order to minimize its financial risk and to put an end to proceedings that have been underway for over 10 years.
It should be recalled that the Superior Court of Québec previously ruled in favor of Hydro-Québec in this matter, but that the decision was appealed. If the company had lost this appeal, it could have been ordered to pay a total of over $100 million, including interest and other legal costs. It therefore opted for an out-of-court settlement as a mean to manage this financial risk.
The class action covered the period from January 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010, and potentially concerned more than two million customers.
The legal process is still under way, as the agreement remains subject to court approval. Once completed, if the settlement is approved, individuals who are eligible and are still Hydro-Québec customers will automatically receive a credit on their bill. The payment method for individuals who are no longer Hydro-Québec customers will be determined at a later date. Credits and compensation will be established at the end of 2021.
For more information:
Tel.: 514 289-5005