That’s a good observation!
Although it is true that we have had three consecutive years of rate increases, that isn’t always the case. Indeed, there are times when the rates may be adjusted downwards, as was the case in 2011 and 2012.
Hydro-Québec’s electricity rates continue to be the lowest in North America.
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.
Sometimes, this revenue is greater than the anticipated expenses. In this case, the Régie could decrease electricity rates, as it did in 2011 and in 2012. However, if revenue is lower, the Régie may increase rates to cover expenses and achieve a balance.
Although the price of some sources of fuel has decreased recently, the price of most fossil fuels is volatile, unlike the price of electricity, which is more stable. Over the past 50 years, electricity prices in Québec have increased at the same rate as inflation, as shown with the following graph.