Energy Evolution: September 12, 2005
Hydro-Quebec Seeking Rate Increase, Supply Sources
Faced with increasing demand, Hydro-Quebec has filed to Regie de l’energie seeking a three per cent rate adjustment and issued a call for tenders (CFT) to meet short-term electricity needs between October this year and December 2006.
Hydro-Quebec Distribution (HQD) is filing its 2006-2007 rate application, due mainly to the high costs linked to demand growth in the province, and proposes to make the increase effective April 1 next year.
“Our costs are rising and demand growth accounts for 92% of the increase,” explained Andre Boulanger, president of HQD.
“The new supply (that will be made available in the call for tenders) will be nearly nine cents per kilowatt hour in 2006 -- representing additional purchases of over $500 million,” he said.
Hearings on the rate application will be held by the Regie -- responsible for setting electricity rates in Quebec -- over the next few months, noted Boulanger.
Despite, the increase, the HQD president indicated electricity rates in Quebec “are still among the lowest in North America.”
If the application is approved, the adjustment would represent a monthly increase of $1.91 for an average apartment, $3.30 for a small house and $5.93 for a large house.
“Consumers can do their part in conserving energy “through small, everyday gestures,” Boulanger noted.
“If all Quebec households turn their thermostats down one degree over the next several months, collectively they can save at least $175 million,” he said.
As for HQD’s CFT, the utility said electricity may originate from inside or outside Quebec.
This call for tenders involves quantities ranging between 300 megawatts and 700 megawatts, depending upon the time of year.
Bids must be for blocks of 50 megawatts and a bidder may submit more than one proposal.
“As promised, we are proposing a reasonable adjustment,” Boulanger said.
“We reiterate our intention to offer the best service at the best possible price,” he said.
All proposed bidders were required to register for HQD’s CFT by Sept. 9.