Québec Electricity and Natural Gas Options
Québec is one of the largest provinces in Canada, where 23% of the Canadian population lives (approximately 8.3 million people). And this is only part of the story; Québec is one of the largest electricity producers in Canada — around 45,402 megawatts (MW) —, and produces around one-third of the electricity generation in the country, meaning 4.1% of the country’s total energy production.
Most of this power comes from Québec’s huge hydroelectricity sources. The province has more than 130,000 rivers and streams, where approximately 40% of Canada’s water is located. As an example, Québec has more than three times the hydroelectricity potential of British Columbia. The province is also a source for wind, biomass and solar energy.
All of these abundant sources of hydroelectricity made of Québec electricity rates some of the lowest in Canada and in the world. Electricity prices in the province are historically lower than in other provinces and states in North America.
Utilities in Québec: Electricity and Gas
For the past eight decades, Québec’s electricity has been provided by Hydro-Québec, a regulated, government-owned electricity generator, distributor and supplier. All of the electricity consumers in the province have their electricity provided whether by Hydro-Québec, coops or municipally-owned redistributors of electricity. Since Québec is a regulated electricity market, all of the hydro rates in the province are approved by the Régie de l’énergie, the provincial energy regulator.
Natural gas in Québec, however, is deregulated. On a rough note, natural gas deregulation means that Québec residents and companies can choose to get their natural gas supply from the local distributor or from a competitive natural gas provider.
There are two natural gas distributors in Québec: Énergir, formerly known as Gaz Métro (in 98% of the province; around 300 municipalities), and Gazifère (in the Gatineau area). Both of them are regulated by the Régie de l’énergie. However, consumers can choose from a wide range of competitive natural gas suppliers in the province.
Natural gas in Québec
Since Québec is a utility-billed province, consumers that switch natural gas suppliers will still receive Énergir or Gazifère bills, as well as will have to pay the same delivery and distribution fees as everyone else. However, your natural gas supply rates (the price of natural gas per m³ or GJ) will be the fixed price you’ve set with the independent natural gas retailer.
While the regulated natural gas providers only offer floating natural gas rates, which varies every month, competitive natural gas retailers can offer fixed-rate plans for companies and homes looking to lock in their natural gas costs.
According to Énergir, there are four possible scenarios in Québec when it comes to natural gas. In all of them, Énergir (or Gazifère, in Gatineau) is the natural gas distributor. Find below some of the possible arrangements with independent natural gas companies in Québec, which can range from supply-only to supply, transportation and load-balancing.
|Option 1||Option 2||Option 3||Option 4|
|Supply||Énergir||Competitive retailer||Competitive retailer||Competitive retailer|
|Transportation||Énergir||Énergir||Competitive retailer||Competitive retailer|
Natural gas in Québec by the numbers: Currently, there are around 130,000 households using natural gas in Québec, as well as 50,000 commercial and institutional consumers, and approximately 2,500 industrial natural gas consumers.
Many of these consumers, especially large natural gas customers, decide to shop around for their natural gas rates, instead of purchasing it from the local default provider. As the regulated rates float every month, households and businesses that value cost certainty prefer to set fixed rates with competitive retailers — and protect themselves from financial unpredictability.
Where does Québec get its natural gas? Only a tiny portion of Québec’s natural gas is produced in the province — approximately 0.04% of Canada’s total production. Most of the natural gas in Québec comes from western provinces, such as Alberta and British Columbia.
Compare Québec natural gas rates
In case you want to know more about your Québec natural gas options, EnergyRates.ca can be of great help. The website enables you to compare natural gas rates from some of the major competitive energy providers in the province. After filling in your postal code in the form above, you will be able to see a list of the best available natural gas plans in your area.
For small business, commercial, large commercial and industrial natural gas consumers, the website provides you with a custom, free quote based on your average energy usage. After comparing natural gas prices, you will be able to make an informed decision and secure the best available commercial energy rates for your company.
EnergyRates.ca also provides complete resources on the Québec electricity and natural gas markets, including billing information, local electricity and natural gas suppliers, and regulated, residential and commercial energy providers.
Regional Energy Services
Find information about electricity and natural gas services in the main cities and towns in Québec, including local distributors and the competitive natural gas retailers available in each one of them.
- Québec City
Rates & Information
Understanding your energy bills is part of comparing natural gas suppliers and their rates. We have several articles that will help you understand all of the rates and fees related to your utility bills, including the prices you can compare and the tariffs that are fixed regardless of your energy provider.
- Explaining Your Québec Electricity & Natural Gas Rates
- How to Start, Transfer, or Change Your Electricity and Natural Gas Services in Québec
- Breaking Down Your Québec Electricity and Natural Gas Bills
- Energy Efficiency Programs and Rebates in Québec
Residential Natural Gas Retailers
Do you want to make sure you’re paying for the best natural gas rates in your area? So, it’s time to compare natural gas prices. We have a full list of the main residential energy suppliers in Québec, including but not limited to:
Commercial Natural Gas Retailers
Businesses, commercial organizations and industrial operations need to pay special attention to their electricity and natural gas costs, as they usually are large energy consumers. In other words, commercial customers tend to pay really high energy bills every month.
In 2016, the industrial sector’s demand for energy was 39% of the total demand in Québec, according to the Canada Energy Regulator (CER), meaning that there is a lot of room for energy-saving strategies in the province.
To help companies reduce their electricity and natural gas costs, we have compiled an in-depth guide on Québec’s commercial natural gas retailers.
Regulated Rate Providers
If you’re looking to understand Québec utilities, you can find below a list of all of the distributors and regulated providers for both electricity and natural gas in the province.
- Énergir (formerly known as Gaz Métro)
- Gazifère (Enbridge)
- Ville d’Alma
- Ville d’Amos
- Ville de Baie-Comeau
- Ville de Coaticook
- Coopéerative régionale d’électricité de St-Jean-Baptiste-de-Rouville
- Ville de Magog (Hydro-Magog)
- Ville de Saguenay
- Ville de Sherbrooke
- Hydro Westmount (Ville de Westmount)
Régie de l’énergie du Québec (Québec’s energy board)
The Régie de l’énergie was created in 1997 to regulate the Québec energy market, including natural gas distribution activities, and the electricity, oil and steam markets.
Alongside the regulatory services, the organization is mainly responsible for making everything run smoothly in the provincial energy market, from consumer protection to natural gas delivery and distribution tariffs.
When it comes to natural gas distributors, such as Énergir and Gazifère, the Régie de l’énergie has many regulatory duties, including but not limited to:
- Annually sets transportation, load-balancing and distribution rates
- Monthly sets supply, CATS and compression rates
- Makes sure that there is sufficient supply
- Investigates consumer complaints
- Sets rates and conditions for the services offered by distributors