Hydro-Québec is asking the province's energy board for permission to increase rates next year by nearly six per cent.

That would cost the average homeowner $120 more per year.

It would cost the average apartment dweller $36 more annually.

The company made a profit of more than $1 billion last winter.

Hydro-Québec officials say the request to increase rates is justified.

"Those requests are based on the real cost of electricity for offering the service next year.  For customers, Hydro-Québec's rate will still be among the lowest in Canada and also North  America,” said Hydro-Québec spokesman Patrice Lavoie.

The energy board will issue its decision on the rate increase request in February.