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By choosing our energy, which is more than 99% renewable, you are contributing to the energy transition and gaining an edge on the competition. You are decreasing your greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using one of the energy sources with the lowest carbon footprint in the world. This makes you part of the solution. You’ll significantly improve your carbon footprint: that’s one step closer to net zero emissions!

A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas present in the atmosphere, of natural or man-made origin, which absorbs and reflects infrared rays coming from the earth’s surface. The increased concentration of these gases in the atmosphere contribute to climate change

Compare the GHG emission factors of various generation sources:

Energy sources / GHG emissions (CO2 eq. kg/GJ)


  • Hydropower
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Hydro‑Québec’s grid*


  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Light fuel oil (No. 2)
  • Heavy fuel oil (No. 5 and 6)

Source : Regulation respecting mandatory reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere, sections QC 1.7 and QC 17.3

Note: These factors do not take the efficiency of heating systems into account.

* Excluding Hydro-Québec’s off-grid systems. The energy that Hydro-Québec distributes to its customers, on its main grid, is made up of more than 99% renewable sources. For more information, refer to Label for electricity distributed in Québec to customers supplied by Hydro-Québec’s main power grid [PDF 150 KO].

Greenhouse gas (GHG) comparison tool

References for the GHG comparison tool

All markets

Emissions in CO2 equivalent and energy content in kWh equivalent

GHG emissions for fuels and Energy content in kWh equivalent [in French only]

Reference: Transition énergétique Québec (August 16, 2019).

GHG emissions per Hydro-Québec kWh: CO2 Emissions and Hydro-Québec Electricity fact sheet [PDF 0.2 Mb]

Seasonal* combustion efficiency

  • Natural gas: 75%
  • Propane: 75%
  • No.2 and No. 6 fuel oil: 70%

Reference : Guide d’analyse technique – programme Bâtiments, Hydro-Québec (April 2015) [in French only]

* Combustion efficiency for industrial processes is 5% higher on the assumption that operations are more stable and independent of outside temperature.

Light-duty vehicle emissions

Estimated at 4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year for a use corresponding to 20,000 km/year of driving.

References :

Commercial and institutional markets

Input data: Total bill ($) or total kWh

Assessment of consumption attributable to heating

The percentages below reflect the typical consumption profile by use and the percentage devoted to space and fresh air heating (for baseboards, coils or an electric furnace):

  • Supply: 20%
  • Education: 60%
  • Other: 45%

Where heating is provided by a geothermal or aerothermal system, the above percentages are reassessed based on the seasonal efficiencies shown below. These efficiencies take into account the fact that the heating system is sized to meet 50% of the maximum heating demand, with excess heating requirements met by baseboards, coils or an electric bolier. The outdoor temperature data from the SIMEB weather file for the city of Québec is used for the calculations:

  • Aerothermal system: 180%
  • Geothermal system: 320%


  • L'Énergie sur le bout des doigts – Guide de la force de vente, Hydro-Québec (March 1998) (In French only).
  • Projects submitted under the Hydro-Québec Empower Program for Building Optimization (2004–2010).
  • PPB software, version 1.2, Hydro-Québec Buildings Program (February 2017).
  • SIMEB software, version 3.1, Hydro-Québec Buildings Program (June 2013).

Industrial market

Input data: Equipment nameplate

Process efficiency

Heat treatment:

  • Electric furnace — resistance : 34.8%
  • Electric furnace — arc or plasma: 34.8%
  • Induction: 68.7%
  • Infrared: 75.0%
  • Microwaves: 80.0%
  • Radio frequency: 80.0%

Water heating:

  • Electric boiler: 100.0%
  • Heat pump: 400.0%


  • Efficient electrification project, Hydro-Québec energy technology laboratory (LTE) (July 2019).
  • OSE software, version 1.0, Hydro-Québec Efficient Solutions Program (November 2018).

Number of operating hours – Processes

This number is set at 4,680 hours per year.


  • OSE software, version 1.0, Hydro-Québec Efficient Solutions Program (November 2018).

Number of operating hours – Other uses

For fresh air heating, the ventilation system also operates for 4,680 hours per year.

For general heating of the building, the equipment operates at the equivalent of 1,000 hours of full load operation per year.

Heating consumption is assessed based on the outdoor temperature data from the SIMEB weather file for the city of Québec.


  • SIMEB software, version 3.1, Hydro-Québec Buildings Program (June 2013).

Energy efficiency programs

Hydro-Québec offers its business customers a wide array of energy efficiency programs that offer financial assistance to help customers carry out their projects.

Learn more about our energy efficiency programs

Regardless of the size of your company, you can implement measures that will help you reduce your energy consumption.

  • Éco astuces

    Find simple solutions such as lowering the setpoint temperature or improving the insulation in your buildings. You are guaranteed to find some solutions that will work for your company.

    Energy efficiency tips
  • Éco technologies

    Find out about leading-edge processes and technologies that help industrial companies do more while consuming less.

    Efficient technologies
  • Éco communication

    Got a project in mind?

    Let us know

Competitive advantage

When you use clean, renewable energy, you sharpen your competitive edge. Here’s how it works:

  • Québec’s stable electricity prices improve your medium- to long-term forecasts and help balance your budget.
  • More and more customers want products with a low carbon footprint.
  • Our energy, which is more than 99% renewable, represents a firm, reliable supply of energy over time.
  • If your company wants to reduce its GHG emissions, our clean energy can go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.
  • An environmentally responsible company is more successful at attracting and retaining talented employees who value efforts made to protect the environment.

Can your company boast any of these competitive advantages? Make sure you tell your customers about it!

The energy transition

What is the energy transition?

The energy transition can be defined as all the changes in electricity generation methods and transmission and distribution systems throughout the world as well as current energy consumption habits.

In other words, the energy transition represents all the changes undertaken to reduce the environmental impact of generating, transporting, distributing and consuming energy, in particular by replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources.

What are the issues facing the energy transition?

More than ever, the energy transition is a social, environmental and economic priority. It involves a significant decarbonization of human activities, which means that fossil fuels must progressively be replaced by energy solutions combining energy efficiency and renewable energy within a growing demographic context and the corresponding increase in demand.

This major challenge is nevertheless necessary in reaching GHG reduction targets that will help limit global warming.

What are the sources of GHG emissions in Québec?

  • Transportation sector 43.3%
  • Industrial sector 30.5%
  • Residential, commercial and institutional sectors 10.3%
  • Agricultural sector 9.8%
  • Residual-materials management 5.8%
  • Electricity generation sector 0.3%

Source: Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. Data from 2017.

What is the breakdown of energy sources used in Québec?

Our clean, renewable electricity is the envy of the world. However, it represents only 35% of the total energy consumed in Québec. In other words, fossil fuels (natural gas and hydrocarbons from outside Québec) make up 65% of all the energy consumed. The time has come to use our clean energy to decarbonize Québec and drive its economic development.

Where does Hydro-Québec stand with regard to the energy transition?

Our Strategic Plan 2020–2024 outlines strategies that will help us continue to play a key role in implementing a low-carbon economy.

One of the plan’s objectives is to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions across all our markets, particularly by encouraging the electrification of industrial companies and attracting new foreign companies that also want to decarbonize their activities or transition to a renewable energy source.

Our Strategic Plan 2020–2024, our interventions undertaken in the area of sustainable development and our corporate strategies are all perfectly aligned with the Québec government’s plan for a green economy, the Plan d’économie verte (PEV).

The plan’s objective is to help Québec reach its GHG emission reduction target, namely 37.5% less in 2030 than in 1990. How?

  • By electrifying Québec’s economy (transportation, industrial activities, buildings):
    • The transportation industry is already off to a good start. By developing innovative battery and motor technologies for electric vehicles, setting up a vast network of charging stations and generating clean, renewable power, Hydro-Québec is actively participating in the electrification of transportation.
  • By using energy and resources efficiently, in particular by maximizing energy efficiency in processes involved in planning, generating and consuming electricity.

Useful documents