What’s a winter peak period?
In Québec, they usually occur on cold days, when we’re all using a lot of electricity at the same time and the grid is overloaded. Fortunately, winter peaks only happen a few days a year, from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 8 p.m.
How to take action during winter peaks
Reducing electricity use during winter peaks is easier than you might think. Where to start? Hydro‑Québec has two great ways to help you save: dynamic pricing and the Hilo smart home service. If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?
Turn down the heating
Turn down all the thermostats in your home by at least 2°C at the start of a peak demand event.
Wait until the peak has passed to use hot water
Whenever possible, use hot water after a peak period so that your water heater doesn’t switch on when the demand for electricity is high.
Wait until the peak has passed to use major appliances
Make sure you put off using your washer, dryer and oven until after the peak period. Instead, opt for small appliances like the slow cooker, microwave or air fryer.
Wait until the peak has passed to charge your EV
Program your EV to charge at night.
Offers to save during winter peaks
Make small changes and use devices you already have at homeSee how much I could save
Choose the dynamic pricing to lower your electricity bill without risk. Last winter, customers signed up for the dynamic pricing who took the right steps saved an average of $80.
How it works
Take action to reduce your electricity use during peak demand events.
You already have everything you need at home!
Hilo smart home service
Save year-round and take part in challenges to lower your electricity useEstimate my savings
With Hilo, you could save up to 15% on your annual electricity bill and earn cash rewards by taking part in Hilo challenges. Last winter, participating customers earned an average of $140 in rewards.
How it works
Take part in Hilo challenges in moderate, intrepid or extreme mode. Your thermostats’ settings will be adjusted automatically.
You’ll need a Hilo starter kit, Hilo smart thermostats or any other compatible device (thermostat, EV charging station, etc.).
Compare dynamic pricing and Hilo to make an informed decision.
Why make a collective effort during winter peak periods?
By reducing our consumption during winter peaks, we are supporting the electrification of sectors in Québec that currently rely on fossil fuels.
In addition, we are helping to limit the purchase of costly and less sustainable electricity from neighboring markets and reducing future investments on the grid that would be necessary to meet the growing demand for electricity for only a few hours a year. This helps us to reduce our electricity bill and the pressure on electricity rates.
Positive results across Québec
During winter 2022‑2023, participating residential and business customers reduced power demand by 2,093.5 MW during each peak. That’s practically equivalent to the capacity of La Grande‑2‑A generating station!
Every household counts
An average of 268.5 MW curtailed during the winter period—enough to power about 38,000 households.
Businesses that are doing their part
An average of 1,825 MW curtailed during the winter period—enough to power about 261,000 households.