Understanding Your Electricity Bill in Québec
In Québec, the standard Hydro-Québec bills usually have two pages and more than 10 sections with specific information regarding your current bill, consumption history, basic information, service address and more data.
If you don’t understand something in your Québec electricity bills, below you can find a detailed explanation of the main items in your monthly bills.
Account number: It’s the needed number to pay for Hydro-Québec.
Bill number: Each Hydro-Québec bill has a unique reference number.
Customer number: This is the customer’s identification number; consumers need to provide the electricity retailer with their customer number when they contact the company.
Billing address: Your name (whether a person or a business) and the address.
Account summary: In this section, customers can check the previous bill amount, the last received payment and the amount due.
Useful information: This part is reserved for general messages and information about services.
Summary of this bill: This area lists the electricity costs, federal and provincial taxes, as well as the total bill amount
Customer services: A list of customer service phone numbers and Hydro-Québec working hours.
Payment stub: Due date, the total amount due and payment amount (to be returned by the customer if paid by mail)
Details of electricity use: A summary of the electricity use in the billing period covered by the monthly bill, which includes calculation of the energy used, meter-reading data and number of days in the billing period.
Details of electricity cost: The costs of the electricity used based on specific rates, billing period, specific credits and taxes. The total amount can be found as “Electricity cost” under the “Summary of this bill” section.
Total consumption: The total energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh)
Up to [XX] kWh x [XX] days: The total amount of energy consumed daily up to a certain threshold multiplied by the number of days. The standard Québec electricity bill (Rate D) has a limited amount (40 kWh) per day. The remaining kWh usage is displayed as “Remaining kWh,” which is the difference between the total usage and the first 40 kWh used each day during the billing period.
System access charge: This charge is the amount you pay for having access to the electricity service in your home or facility, and it doesn’t vary based on your consumption. The total fee is usually based on the charge per day multiplied by the number of days in the billing period.
Compare to last year: This table compares many factors with the same period in the previous year, including the number of days in the billing period, the average temperature, electricity costs, daily use and total electricity use.
Electricity consumption history: This is another opportunity to take a look at historical data. It lists your electricity usage for the previous five months, as well as it enables you to see the correlation between the average outdoor temperatures and your monthly electricity use.
Understanding Your Natural Gas Bill in Québec
Even though Québec is a deregulated natural gas market, it is still a utility-billed province. In other words, even if a consumer chooses a competitive natural gas retailer to supply their home or company, they — and most people in Québec — will still receive Énergir (formerly known as Gaz Métro) bills.
Énergir bills are usually separated in five different sections. Read on to find a detailed explanation of the standard Québec natural gas bill and its specificities.
- Consumption history and amount to pay
- Message and current amount
- Portion to tear off and return
- Calculation of the billed volume
- Calculation of the amount billed
The “Header” section lists the basic customer information, including contact information, the billing period, the account number, bill number and the billing tariff.
When it comes to the “Consumption history and amount to pay” area, the bill lists the consumption history for the past 12 months, total consumption for the current year, amount of the current bill, the previous month’s consumption and its total amount.
The “Message and current amount” section shows important messages from the distributor, the total amount payable and the current amount and payment due date.
As to “Portion to tear off and return”, this section should be torn off and returned if you pay your bills by mail. The customer also needs to determine the amount payable in the “Amount Paid” blank area.
The “Calculation of the billed volume” section lists your meter information: The volume of natural gas (m3) consumed by your household or facility in the billing period.
Last but definitely not least, the “Calculation of the amount billed” area lists five different topics that are essential for anyone in Québec to understand their natural gas bill charges.
Transportation: The transportation costs of sending natural gas from generation plants to Énergir’s facilities.
Load balancing: The costs related to managing the variation between natural gas storage and demand between winter and summer.
Inventory-related adjustments: Costs and price changes related to maintaining the natural gas inventories.
Cap-and-trade system: This charge is the emission allowance cost for natural gas combustion. The revenues from this variable monthly charge are used by the Government of Québec to invest in climate action.
Distribution: The costs associated with transporting natural gas through Énergir’s distribution system, from its facilities to your address. The rate is based on your consumption and is adjusted annually.