The present provincial government is concerned about the new tariff increase of 3.9% that Hydro-Québec wants to once again impose on the population. Rates just went up by 4.3% last spring and already Hydro-Québec wants to increase the rates by almost as much.
The Government is concerned the rates will not only be difficult for the average family, and even worse for those less fortunate, but will also affect the competitive costs for attracting businesses to the province. Quebec has fairly low rates for electricity when compared to other provinces which helps as a bargaining strategy for companies to develop in Quebec.
Higher rates would only be a thorn in the side when the province wants to encourage business development.
The government has adopted a “Decree of Preoccupation” on the matter and discussions will follow between Hydro and the Minister of Natural Resources to arrive at a decision which will satisfy both the consumer and Hydro-Québec.
The balance between business development and increased hydro revenue is a slippery slope and always difficult to evaluate.
Another problem that the opposition has brought up is the extreme cost of the new “wind-power” installations popping up all over the place, which are costing more than Hydro had expected, stating that it would be cheaper to keep developing hydro-electricity instead of wind produced power, as the cost is almost triple and is not as efficient, according to some experts.
The government is hinting however that an increase may be tolerable but, not the 3.9% that is presently on the table.
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