Rising electricity rates are shocking small business owners!

Quebec SMEs are used to subsidize rates for large businesses and residential consumers by paying 18-28% more than the real cost of electricity.

In this graphic, we can see how much Quebec SMEs pay more than the real cost of electricity in comparison to residential consumers and large businesses, which are respectively 18% to +28%, -14%, and 0% to +13%

In 2023, Quebec SMEs paid $4.4 billion to Hydro-Québec. In contrast, large industrial customers paid only $2.9 billion, despite using more electricity.

SMEs are bearing the brunt of rate increases.

2023/2024 Rate Increases
  2023 2024
Residential +3% +3%
Large businesses +4.2% +3.3%
SMEs +6.4% +5.1%

SMEs can’t afford for their bills to more than double by 2035!

Small business owners pulling a big light bulb with ropes, symbolizing the tensions between different stakeholders in the energy market Hydro-Québec plans to invest up to $185 billion over the next decade.

Yearly average increase on a SME's monthly bill
2024 2025
(+14.3%)
2026
(+6.9%)
2027
(+6.9%)
2028
(+11.8%)
2029-2035 2035
$250 $286 $306 $327 $365 +7.8% yearly average $619
$1,000 $1,143 $1,222 $1,306 $1,461 $2,474
$5,000 $5,713 $6,110 $6,532 $7,304 $12,371

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy

CC: My Member of Parliament

My small business has always been at a disadvantage when it comes to electricity rates, but especially since Bill 34 and Bill 2 were passed. Small businesses are bearing the brunt of Hydro-Québec rate increases and if nothing changes, my bill could double by 2035!

I should not be expected to subsidize rates for larger corporations and residents – it’s time for your government to implement a fairer system now, before Hydro-Québec’s major investment plan, so that my business can continue to do what it does best: create jobs and support the economy.

I am asking you to:

  • Authorize the Régie de l’énergie to set electricity rates on a yearly basis, like it used to be.
  • Implement a long-term plan to reduce the cross-subsidization rate unfairness between large and small businesses, in particular by:
    • Allowing the Régie to adjust cross-subsidization rates to offset subsidization of other consumers, by amending section 52.1 of the Act respecting the Régie de l’énergie.
  • Further promote existing programs that encourage energy conservation while also increasing subsidies or grants available to SMEs.