Montreal

Hydro-Québec seeks 1.1% rate increase from energy board

Hydro-Québec is asking Quebec's energy board for permission to raise electricity rates by 1.1 per cent next year.

Rate hike would bring more than $100M in added revenue to provincial utility

Hydro generated just over $2.8 billion in profit in 2016. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Hydro-Québec is asking Quebec's energy board for permission to raise electricity rates by 1.1 per cent next year.

That would represent a monthly increase of 47 cents for a three-bedroom apartment, or $2.21 for a mid-size house.

The new rate would go into effect April 2018, but first has to be approved by the energy board.

Last year Hydro asked for a 1.6 per cent hike but was only granted an increase of 0.7 per cent.

David Murray, head of Hydro-Québec's distribution division, said the increase would fit within the utility's strategy of maintaining a profit of 8.2 per cent.

"We're talking in the range of roughly $110 million total [in extra revenue]," Murray said Tuesday.

Hydro generated just over $2.8 billion in profits in 2016.

Murray also defended the utility's decision to spend $850,000 sponsoring Montreal's Formula E electric car race last weekend, saying it was part of an effort to attract global clients.

"We're trying to attract major players like data centres, so the visibility is important for us," said Murray. 

Hydro-Québec also said the 1.1 per cent increase is in line with its commitment to keep rate hikes below the provincial government's inflation estimates.

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