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Energy sobriety: Quebec should help consumers, the rich should pay, opposition parties say

Energy sobriety: Quebec should help consumers, the rich should pay, opposition parties say

In order to no longer be “last in class,” the opposition says, Legault's government must help Quebecers financially to prevent them from continuing to waste energy. They add that the rich must do their part.

“People are consuming too much, but I haven't seen any government plan put forward to encourage people to consume less,” liberal energy critic Gregory Kelly said.

He was responding to a dossier from our parliamentary office on Quebec's energy future in which Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon was categorical: Quebecers are “really below class” in terms of responsible consumption.

Hydro-Québec wants people to “use less” and “at the right times.”

However, the Liberals, like other opposition parties in Quebec, criticize the lack of government measures to support citizens in this energy transition and the absence of an energy policy in Quebec.

“In the budget, there is nothing to encourage ordinary citizens to change their windows, to better insulate their homes. […] Because not everyone can invest in making these changes.

Protecting the weak

Solidarity activist Haroun Bouazi points out that his training is in favor of energy sobriety, but he believes that the people at the bottom of the ladder are not the ones who will have to pay the costs of this transition.

“From sobriety? And we can't ask the same effort from everyone. There are people who are going to have to consume less, and for us it can't be those at the bottom of the scale, of course.” “I think of retirees who have finished paying off their houses and who have a miserable retirement. They will not be able to pay to be able to change the windows.

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The representative confirms that the draft law on addressing energy screening, proposed by Environment Minister Benoit Charette, also “terribly” lacks ambition, as it affects only 25% of the residential sector.

Prices to be reviewed

Mr. Bouazi also asserts that the richest 1% will have to “pay more” for prices. The latter group sometimes consumes more than 50,000 kilowatt-hours per year, according to Hydro-Québec, while the middle class consumes 20,000 kilowatt-hours.

The Parti Québécois energy spokesperson agrees. Pascal Paradis points out that we must “target the largest consumers and protect the most vulnerable people.”

According to him, dynamic and deferred pricing is a must.

“If you go to your spa at 8 a.m. in the evening during peak periods, because you want to go to your spa, you have to increasingly find a way to target those high-volume consumers, even residential consumers, and make sure that we protect the least affluent people,” he said. For whom pricing should still be beneficial.