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Hydro-Québec seeks 0.8% rate hike

Hydro-Québec is seeking the approval of the Régie de l'énergie, Quebec's energy regulator, for 0.8% rate increase for all residential customers and most business customers, effective April 1, 2019.

The provincial government-owned company said its proposal to hike rates is mainly driven by higher electricity purchase costs, higher distribution costs and plans to expand capital spending on reliability projects. These were offset by growth in electricity demand, the impact of milder temperatures in recent winters and the earnings variances of C$46 million shared with customers in 2017.

According to a July 27 news release, the planned rate hike is expected to add 23 Canadian cents to the monthly bill of an apartment, 79 cents for a small house, C$1.60 for a midsize house and C$2.44 for a large house.

Hydro-Québec is also proposing to add two new pricing options for customers, effective December 2019. These will allow customers to lower their electric bills by changing their energy usage during winter. Additionally, the company plans to spend C$101 million on energy efficiency programs and initiatives.

The regulator is expected to issue a ruling on the rate hike proposal in early 2019 after a review process ends in December.