We are sorry you have this perception. We obviously don’t cheat our customers: we offer them a service.
The question of earnings variances is a relatively little-known subject. The earnings variances noted by Hydro-Québec at the end of a fiscal year are due in large part to the company’s performance. In other words, Hydro-Québec is able to achieve better results than anticipated because of efficiency gains.
It is also important to note that the amounts associated with these earnings variances do not remain in Hydro-Québec’s “coffers”. Rather, they are passed on to our customers, either directly or indirectly:
1. Directly: efficiency gains help limit Hydro-Québec’s rate increases, and this, in a recurring manner during subsequent rate years.
2. Indirectly: Hydro-Québec’s earnings are reflected in its net earnings, of which 75% are remitted to the company’s sole shareholder, the Québec government.
In 2014, the Régie de l’énergie authorized Hydro-Québec to create an earnings-sharing mechanism. However, in accordance with the Act mainly to implement certain provisions of the Budget Speech of 4 June 2014 and return to a balanced budget in 2015-2016, tabled at the National Assembly in April 2015, this sharing mechanism has been suspended until Québec returns to a balanced budget. Therefore, Hydro-Québec is not kee
ping these amounts, but rather contributing towards achieving budget targets.