Payment arrangements at Hydro-Quebec have exploded due to inflation and rising interest rates.
This year, 196,000 customers entered into a payment agreement with Crown because they couldn’t make ends meet.
Last year at this time, 180,000 subscribers had to enter into this type of agreement.
The financial value of these agreements was $812 million as of September, which is an increase of nearly $200 million compared to 2021.
At the start of the pandemic, Hydro-Québec suspended collection of payments from some of its subscribers who were unable to pay the amounts owed.
Interest rates were suspended, then “postponed, and there we are later,” explains Pierre Fortin, trustee Jean Fortin.
The winter of 2021-2022 was the coldest in 20 years. Electricity bills must have gone up significantly,” energy analyst Vivien de Tilley believes.
However, defaults are off, as payment agreements are made initially.
“On the Hydro-Quebec side, we have to refund the amounts owed to us in the interest of fairness to all customers because the amounts that are ultimately not charged will affect the pricing. So, we have recovery strategies that mean we try to provide the tools to customers so they can pay us,” Cendrix explains. Bouchard, advisor at Hydro-Québec.
Hydro-Québec invites people to contact them to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
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