Hydro plans to pay $400 million to its competitor

Quebec wants to encourage users of gas heating to turn more to dual energy and electricity. But this measure, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases, will nevertheless increase the bills of Hydro-Québec customers.

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The Régie de l’énergie must consider this week a project between the state-owned company and its competitor Énergir, a natural gas supplier, which will result in the reduction of gas in favor of electricity, as the government wishes. .

But in return, Hydro-Québec proposes to pay compensation to Énergir of $400 million between 2022 and 2030 for its loss of revenue.

Over $250 million in your pocket

Of this amount, $255 million would be drawn directly from the pockets of Hydro customers whose rates would be increased. This compensation could be extended until 2041, which is denounced by several groups.

“In 2025, there will be a first increase for all Hydro customers. But in 2030, this increase would be greater, we are talking about an amount of $85 million”, explains Viviane de Tilly, external analyst at Union des consommateurs, during an interview with The newspaper.

“This is particularly worrying, because there will be other actions to be taken by Quebec to decarbonize the sector. Is this the first milestone and Hydro customers will have to pay again? she asks herself.

Insane, according to Greenpeace

For Greenpeace, compensating a company that distributes fossil energy makes no sense.

“What is proposed only leads to a 6% reduction in emissions in the residential sector for 2030. This is far from the 50% target that we want to achieve. So this project is expensive, it sets up long-term gas systems and it sets a dangerous precedent of paying a gas company,” believes Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace Canada.

Less expensive in the end

For its part, Hydro-Québec affirms that the partnership “is essential to decarbonize heating” and to get through winter peaks when electricity runs out.

According to the state-owned company, complete electrification of the sector would cost $1.7 billion, particularly in infrastructure.

“It therefore makes it possible to minimize the pricing impacts for customers,” assured spokesperson Maxence Huard-Lefebvre.

According to Greenpeace, the current leader of Hydro-Quebec Sophie Brochu, who has long been at the head of Gaz Métro, could have played an important role in the joint project.

“Obviously, she has a pro-gas bias, you have to remember that she was the number one gas lobbyist in Quebec for years,” Mr. Bonin believes.

The agreement between Hydro and Énergir to reduce greenhouse gases

Quebec wants reduce emissions by 50% in the heating of buildings here 2030.

The new ones oil systems will be prohibited from 2024.

Hydro-Québec and Énergir want to stimulate the conversation towards dual energy. The Crown corporation intends to pay $400 million in compensation to its competitor.


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