Fixed charge

The fixed charge, expressed in cents per day depending on the applicable rate, is a set amount to be paid for the electricity service itself.

The fixed charge is calculated based on an amount established on a daily basis, multiplied by the number of days in the consumption period. As a result, this amount will vary slightly from one bill to the next, depending on how many days are in the consumption period.

Energy

Energy, expressed in kilowatthours (kWh), is billed at a domestic or general rate for all customers, with no exceptions. In some cases, a first tier of kilowatthours will be billed at one amount, and any energy used beyond this threshold will be billed at a lesser amount.

Power

Customers don’t generally use electricity at exactly the same intensity throughout a given period; as such, their power demand (in kilowatts) will constantly vary. Hydro‑Québec must be equipped to respond at any time to the maximum power demand of its customers’ facilities.

Even though the power demand is often less than the maximum power demand, billing for electricity consumption is insufficient to cover Hydro‑Québec’s equipment operations and maintenance costs. This is why Hydro‑Québec bills customers who use a great deal of electricity for power demand.

Generally speaking, billing demand is calculated as described below.

Billing demand calculation

Rate DP

The demand charge is applied to the greater of these two billing demand values.

or

The minimum billing demand is set at 65% of the maximum power demand during a consumption period that falls wholly within the winter period included in the 12 consecutive monthly periods ending with the consumption period in question.

Only power demand over 50 kW is billed.

Rate DM or DT

If the power demand exceeds 50 kW (or 4 kW times the multiplier), the demand charge is applied to the greater of these two billing demand values:

or

The minimum billing demand is set at 65% of the maximum power demand during a consumption period that falls wholly within the winter period included in the 12 consecutive monthly periods ending with the consumption period in question.

Only power demand over 50 kW or 4 kW times the multiplier, whichever is greater, is billed.

Minimum charge

Rate DP contracts also include a minimum charge. Customers pay the minimum charge when they consume little or no electricity during a consumption period. This charge is set so that customers pay their share of the costs Hydro‑Québec incurs to provide electricity service.

What is the multiplier?

Rate DM or DT

Unlike Rate D, Rate DM has a multiplier that applies to the fixed charge, to the consumption at the various energy price tiers and to the base billing demand.

The multiplier depends on the type of dwelling and is established as follows:

  • For apartment buildings or community residences consisting of units, the multiplier corresponds to the number of units (e.g., the multiplier for a community residence consisting of 25 units is 25).
  • For a community residence with both dwellings and rooms, the multiplier corresponds to the number of dwellings, plus 1 for the first 9 rooms and 1 for each additional room (e.g., the multiplier for a community residence with 5 dwellings and 5 rooms is 6).
  • For a rooming house or community residence with 10 rooms or more, the multiplier is 1 for the first 9 rooms, plus 1 for each additional room (e.g., the multiplier for a community residence with 15 rooms is 7).

Under Rate DT, a multiplier is applied to the fixed charge and to the base billing demand.

The multiplier is generally equal to 1, except when there is bulk metering that includes the consumption of the dual-energy system and when the contract was subject to Rate DT or eligible for Rate DM on May 31, 2009.

If the multiplier is not equal to 1, it is determined by the type of residence, as is the case for Rate DM.

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).

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).

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).

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.

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.

Winter period

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