Hydro‑Québec’s Electricity Rate Terms

Power demand

Power a customer requires to meet energy needs at a given time. The higher the customer’s energy consumption at a given time, the higher the power demand.

Low voltage

Voltage of 750 V or less.

Energy

Power used by electrical equipment over a given period of time. Expressed in kilowatthours (kWh), energy is calculated as power, expressed in kilowatts (kW), multiplied by the time during which the power is used, expressed in hours (h).

Load factor (LF)

Relationship between the energy (in kilowatthours) actually consumed and the amount of energy that can be consumed by using the entire maximum power demand throughout the consumption period. The load factor indicates the utilization rate of maximum power demand for a given consumption period.

Power factor

Ratio of real power (in kW) and apparent power (in kVA). The power factor is expressed as a percentage and indicates the efficiency with which the customer uses the electricity provided. Hydro‑Québec encourages its customers to maintain a power factor of at least 90% or 95%, depending on their rate.

High voltage

Voltage of 44 kV or more.

Medium voltage

Voltage between 750 V and 44 kV.

Summer period

Period from April 1 through November 30, inclusive.

Winter period

Period from December 1 through March 31 of the next year, inclusive.

Consumption period

Period during which electricity is delivered to the customer and which extends between the two dates used by Hydro‑Québec for the calculation of the bill.

Monthly period

Period of 30 days, which can begin on any day of the month, established by Hydro‑Québec for billing purposes.

Independent producer

Producer of electrical power that either consumes for its own needs or sells all or part of the electrical power it produces to a third party or to Hydro‑Québec.

Power

Total amount of electricity supplied at a given time. Expressed in kilowatts (kW), power is the combined effect of voltage, expressed in kilovolts (kV), and current, expressed in amperes (A).

Minimum billing demand

The minimum amount of power that the customer must pay for each consumption period, regardless of its electricity use. It applies to all business customer accounts.

  • For all rates except Rate L, the minimum billing demand is automatically determined based on the previous winter’s maximum power demand.
  • Rate L customers must set their own minimum billing demand, called “contract power,” based on the amount of electricity they expect to use.

Apparent power

Amount of electricity that Hydro‑Québec supplies to a customer, expressed in kilovoltamperes (kVA). When it is used, apparent power breaks down into real power (kW), which runs devices, and reactive power (kVAR), which creates magnetic fields and which is not useful power for the customer.

Power demand

Power a customer requires to meet energy needs at a given time. The higher the customer’s energy consumption at a given time, the higher the power demand.

Available power

The amount of power, expressed in kilowatts (kW), which the customer may not exceed for a given contract without the authorization of Hydro‑Québec.

Installed load

Sum of the nameplate ratings of a customer’s electrical equipment, which largely determines power demand.

Maximum power demand

Maximum power measured during a consumption period. It is the higher of the following two values: real power in kilowatts (kW), or a percentage (90% for small- and medium‑power rates, or 95% for large‑power rates) of the apparent power in kilovoltamperes (kVA).

Real power

Amount of electricity consumed in a useful manner to operate equipment, such as a motor or a heating or lighting system. Real power is expressed in kilowatts (kW).

Contract power

Minimum billing demand that a large‑power industrial rate customer (Rate L) agrees to pay and that Hydro‑Québec must be ready to supply at any time in response to the customer’s demand.

Fixed charge

A set amount to be paid monthly for electricity service, even if there is little or no energy consumption.

Voltage

Difference in electrical level between two points, expressed in volts (V).

Transformation

Operation that involves increasing or decreasing voltage through a transformer.

Power

Total amount of electricity supplied at a given time. Expressed in kilowatts (kW), power is the combined effect of voltage, expressed in kilovolts (kV), and current, expressed in amperes (A).

Energy

Power used by electrical equipment over a given period of time. Expressed in kilowatthours (kWh), energy is calculated as power, expressed in kilowatts (kW), multiplied by the time during which the power is used, expressed in hours (h).

Voltage

Difference in electrical level between two points, expressed in volts (V).

Maximum power demand

Maximum power measured during a consumption period. It is the higher of the following two values: real power in kilowatts (kW), or a percentage (90% for domestic rates and small- and medium-power rates, or 95% for large-power rates) of the apparent power in kilovoltamperes (kVA).

Consumption period

Period during which electricity is delivered to the customer and which extends between the two dates used by Hydro-Québec for calculation of the bill.

Real power

Amount of electricity consumed in a useful manner to operate equipment, such as a motor or a heating or lighting system. Real power is expressed in kilowatts (kW).

Apparent power

Amount of electricity that Hydro-Québec supplies to a customer, expressed in kilovoltamperes (kVA). When it is used, apparent power breaks down into real power (kW), which runs devices, and reactive power (kVAR), which produces magnetic fields and which is not useful power for the customer.

Contract power

Minimum demand that a large-power industrial rate customer (Rate L) agrees to pay and that Hydro-Québec must be ready to supply at any time in response to the customer’s demand.

Minimum billing demand (minimum demand)

The minimum amount of power that the customer must pay for each consumption period, regardless of electricity use. The threshold is set so that you pay your share of the costs Hydro-Québec incurs to meet your power needs at all times. The minimum billing demand is determined by the conditions of each rate, as indicated in the Electricity Rates.

  • For all rates except Rate L, the minimum billing demand is automatically determined based on the previous winter’s maximum power demand.
  • Rate L customers must set their own minimum billing demand, called “contract power,” based on the amount of electricity they expect to use.