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Quebec will eliminate the discount on industrial electricity bills

Quebec will eliminate the discount on industrial electricity bills

Industries will soon no longer be able to participate in the Quebec government’s generous rebate program. Premier Francois Legault made the announcement Tuesday after Radio-Canada revealed that about a hundred large companies are getting a rebate representing up to 20% of their electricity bill.

The government is Cancel itMr. Legault announced to the National Assembly, adding that he wanted to do so Rest assured that in future decades, there will always be more benefits to Quebecers than the cost to Quebecers.

According to our information, it will not be possible to submit applications for this program after December 31, but companies that have already been accepted will be able to benefit from the discounts until 2032 at the latest.

The Prime Minister noted that it was the Liberal government that implemented this program in 2017. However, the reduction was renewed by the government CAQ 2021 to stimulate investments.

ArcelorMittal, which operates a pelletizing plant in Port Quartier, is one of the companies benefiting from the electricity rebate.

Photo: ArcelorMittal

82 industrial sites benefit from the discount, while 15 others are awaiting approval to obtain it, until October 26. The program will cost $231 million in public funds this year.

Quebec does not have enough electricity to meet all the demands of industrial projects. The remaining 1,000 megawatts were awarded for distribution. However, businesses continue to rush through their doors to take advantage of the prices offered by the province, which are the lowest in North America.

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Prices are lower than new production costs

Whether for residential (7.59 cents/kWh) or industrial (5.33 cents/kWh) rates, Hydro-Québec customers pay less for their electricity than the state utility would pay in new energy production costs.

New wind energy supplies should be at 7 or 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, and even Hydro-Quebec predicted, in a note to the government in January, that they would produce at a cost of about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Too generous, not transparent enough, according to the opposition

According to opposition parties, Quebec can no longer afford generosity in attracting companies, with the expected end of electricity surpluses. They also wonder who will pay the difference.

Interim Liberal Leader Mark Tanguay questioned “the prices” and “duration” of the agreements signed by the government, citing the case of the future Northvolt battery plant.

Who will pick up the bill?

Large industrial electricity consumers usually pay the L rate, except for aluminum smelters, which have a special rate. We cannot know whether they benefit from the discounts, because this information is confidential.

Quebecers will not see an increase in electricity prices beyond inflation, or 3%, Francois Legault confirmed Tuesday. It is still unknown what will happen after 2025, while Hydro-Québec wants to increase it to reflect the true value of electricity.

“Believe me, there will be no impact on the housing prices paid by Quebecers,” he tells us.The parliamentary leader of the Solidarity Party in Quebec, Gabriel Nadeau Dubois, was surprised, while The contracts he signs are confidential.

On the Parti Quebecois side, MP Pascal Paradis linked negotiations to working conditions in the public sector.

We give billions to Northvolt, we give billions in tax cuts, but we say we don’t have enough money for our teachers, our teachers.

Update from Hydro-Québec on Thursday

Hydro-Québec CEO Michael Sabia will provide an update Thursday that will show how many megawatts will be available for new projects, under different electricity production scenarios. This will give the government room to maneuver.

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The state-owned company, which expects the end of surpluses by the winter of 2026-2027, could review its target of adding 100 terawatt-hours to the production capacity of its grid, the equivalent of 13 Romanian parks.