It’s not clear if you are referring to the large quantity of energy we have or to Hydro-Québec’s profits. To be safe, we’ll address both possibilities in our answer.
First, despite our energy surpluses, no electricity is wasted in Québec. Our unused energy can, for instance, be sold on external markets or stored in our reservoirs. It is important to know that our energy surpluses occur particularly in the summer when the demand for electricity is lower. However, in winter, Hydro-Québec needs all its resources to meet our customers’ needs. With regard to Hydro-Québec’s profits, for the most part they are returned to the Québec government in the form of a dividend, which is used to help support the province’s public expenses.
Our rates are set by the Régie de l’énergie. To determine the rate adjustments we request from the Régie de l’énergie, we base our decision on the amounts we will need to spend to be able to offer electricity service to all our customers in Québec during the following year as well as on the revenue we expect to receive when our customers pay their electricity bills.
The rates set for our residential customers are the lowest in North America, as illustrated below.