Overhead distribution, through lines on wood poles, is the basic mode used in most areas of Québec. This system comprises over 97,000 km of lines, and 99% of its 2,500,000 poles are made of wood. Hydro-Québec serves 2.8 million customers through the overhead system. You’ll understand that replacing them across the entire system would require a huge investment that would have a major impact on rates.
However, you are correct in believing that other solutions exist. Our program to enhance public thoroughfares supports municipal beautification efforts in medium- or high-density residential or commercial neighborhoods by providing financial assistance for the undergrounding of certain line segments, especially along public roadways.
In addition to this program, we propose alternatives to any real-estate developers or municipalities who request them (concrete poles, steel poles, undergrounding). However, in the interest of fairness for all customers, the additional costs must be paid by the party making the request. Consult the guide for more information.