July 20, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Quebec to abolish subsidy on industrial electricity bills

Quebec to abolish subsidy on industrial electricity bills

Industries will soon no longer be able to subscribe to a generous rebate program offered by the Quebec government. Prime Minister Francois Legault made the announcement on Tuesday after Radio-Canada revealed that nearly 100 large companies will get a reduction of up to 20% on their electricity bills.

There is a government canceling itMr Legault announced to the National Assembly that he wanted to In future contracts, ensure that the benefits to Quebecers always outweigh the costs to Quebecers.

According to our information, applications for this program cannot be submitted after December 31, but companies that have already accepted will be able to benefit from the reductions until 2032.

The Prime Minister recalled that it was the Liberal government that implemented this program in 2017. However, this concession was restored. CAQ 2021 to encourage investments.

ArcelorMittal, which operates a pelletizing plant in Port-Cartier, is one of the companies benefiting from the power subsidy.

Photo: ArcelorMittal

A total of 82 industrial sites have benefited from the discount as on October 26, while another 15 are awaiting approval to avail it. The program will cost $231 million in public funds this year.

Quebec does not have enough electricity to meet all the demands for industrial projects. 1000 megawatts to be distributed have been sanctioned. However, businesses continue to jump to take advantage of the province’s lowest rates in North America.

Prices are lower than new product costs

Whether for residential (7.59 cents/kWh) or industrial (5.33¢/kWh) rates, Hydro-Québec customers pay less for their electricity than what the state company pays in electricity costs. Production for energy gathered from its new sources.

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New wind energy supplies should be at 7 or 8¢/kWh, and Hydro-Québec estimated in a memorandum submitted to the government in January that it would generate at a cost of around 11¢/kWh.

Too generous, not transparent enough, according to the opposition

According to opposition parties, Quebec will not be so generous in attracting businesses with the expected end of electricity surpluses. They also wonder who will pay the difference.

The interim Liberal leader, Mark Tanguay, asked “at what prices” and “for how long” the contracts signed by the government, citing the future Northvolt battery factory.

Who picks up the bill?

Large industrial consumers of electricity generally pay rate L, except for aluminum smelters, which have a separate rate. We do not know if they will benefit from discounts as this information is confidential.

Francois Legault reiterated Tuesday that Quebecers will not experience an increase in their electricity prices above inflation or 3%. What will happen after 2025 is unknown, but Hydro-Québec wants to increase them to reflect the real value of electricity.

He told us: “Take my word for it, there will be no impact on the housing prices that Quebecers pay.”Quebec Solidaire parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was surprised. The contracts he signs are secret.

On the Parti Québécois side, MP Pascal Paradis was linked to talks on working conditions in the public sector.

We give billions to Northvolt, we give billions in tax cuts, but we’re saying there’s not enough money for our teachers, our educators.

Update from Hydro-Québec on Thursday

Hydro-Québec CEO Michael Sabia will present an update on Thursday that will provide the number of megawatts available for new projects under various power generation scenarios. This will give the government a chance to get involved.

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The state-owned company, which expects the end of the surplus by the winter of 2026-2027, may revise its target to add 100 TWh to the generation capacity of its network, equivalent to 13 complexes of Roman.

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