Even though our system is very powerful and can provide a large amount of energy, power demand can still exceed its maximum capacity. If that happens, we have to purchase electricity from neighboring systems at high prices, which tends to push rates upward.
We therefore ask our customers to reduce their energy consumption in very cold weather to avoid costly purchases and keep our rates as low as possible.
To answer the other part of your question, electricity rates allow Hydro-Québec Distribution to cover the expenses required to offer electricity to all our customers in Quebec.
What's more, only a small proportion (approximately 10%) of Hydro-Québec’s profits come from electricity rates. Most of the company’s profits come from the activities carried out by Hydro-Québec Production, which is the division in charge of exports. There is no connection between the company’s annual profits and the rate application filed with the Régie de l’énergie.