Reliable energy at stable prices

The running-in option, which applies for a limited time, is offered to medium-power customers that have a service contract at Rate M.

Helping you carry out your projects

Planning to enlarge your facilities, upgrade your equipment or launch an innovative project? Chances are the running-in option is just what you need.

If you have to run short tests before putting new equipment or a new facility into service, your power demand may rise for a few months while you optimize operation. As a result, your load factor will fall, pushing up the cost of the kilowatthours you consume.

Potential savings

With the running-in option, you can get around this problem, and you won’t have to pay for a momentary but significant increase in your power demand.

The specific provisions of this option allow us to calculate your bill differently by temporarily exempting you from certain conditions that apply to power billing. This lets you test new equipment without having to pay for the resulting increase in your power demand during the running-in period.

Modified calculation of billing amount at Rate M

Calculating a bill under the running-in option involves three steps:

  1. An average price (¢/kWh) is determined based on the last 12 consumption periods or, if there is insufficient data, on an estimate of consumption.
  2. The average price is increased by .
  3. The average price, plus , is applied to the energy consumed during the running-in period.

The power demand recorded during running in is therefore not used in the calculation, even if it’s above the limit used in determining the average reference price (Step 1). Calculation of the bill will vary slightly if your last contract did not cover 12 consumption periods without the running-in option.

These conditions apply for a period of one to twelve months, depending on the situation.

Flexible conditions of application

To take advantage of the Running-In Option, you must meet the following conditions:

  • The power rating of the equipment being run in must equal at least 10% of the minimum billing demand in effect at the time you make your written request, but no less than 100 kilowatts (kW).
  • You must advise Hydro‑Québec in writing at least 30‑days before the start of the running-in period, specifying the consumption periods to which you want the running-in period to apply.
  • You must send Hydro‑Québec a description of the type and power rating of your equipment for approval.

You can also consult the Electricity Rates to find out more about Hydro‑Québec’s rates and rate options.

More information

If you have any questions about this rate option, contact your commercial officer or designated agent. You can also reach our Business customer services by phone at 1 800 463-9900 or by email at

This information has been simplified. For more details about the running-in option for medium power customers, consult Section 4 of Chapter 4 of the Electricity Rates [PDF 1.44 MB].

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.

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.


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).


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).

The formula for energy is as follows: energy (in kilowatthours) is equal to power (in kilowatts) multiplied by duration of use (in hours).

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.

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.