Rates generally consist of three main components that reflect the actual costs incurred by Hydro‑Québec to provide electrical service.

System access charge

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

The system access 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

Unlike Rate D, Rate DM has a multiplier that applies to the system access 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).

Rate DT

Under Rate DT, a multiplier is applied to the system access 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 (see above).