Quebec, the land of abundant natural resources and ways to get screwed. Where the vast bodies of water allow us to be a world leader in hydro electricty. Hydro Quebec is the pride and joy of our great province and who happens to be the sole shareholder. We have so much of it that we export it to various American states and other Canadian provinces. We’ve become so good at running this as a business that in 2014 Hydro Quebec made a record profit of $3.38 billion – $2.53 billion of which was turned over to the Quebec government as a dividend. (Only the good Lord knows what they did with it)
I have no problem with these numbers at all. What I have a problem with is the continuous rate hikes. Did you know that we pay more for electricity than whoever else we sell it to outside of Quebec ? That makes sense doesn’t it, paying more for a product that is made in our own back yard. The equivalant of this would be an Italian vineyard charging a premium for wine sold in Italy. I can attest to the fact that the Italians don’t do this. I had a many 10€ bottle of Chianti that would have cost me 25$ in Canada. It shouldn’t shock us to learn this I suppose. After all, we are the land where corruption and mind numbing political decisions flourish.
Last April, Hydro-Quebec raised rates by 4.3% which was the steepest hikes in seven years. This time around, they asked for 3.9% but were only granted 2.9%. The reason behind their request is even more astonishing. They asked for the extra revenue to help develop its wind power projects. Walt Disney must be turning in his grave with all the great stories they can spin. Let’s gouge our own population to invest in a technology that we know nothing about and that has yet to be proven viable. In Quebec terms this makes sense.
I’m afraid there is no solution for us. Hydro Quebec has the market cornered on this. If we want to continue to heat our homes during this miserable winter, there is only one place we can go. Thus is life when the government has a monopoly on the one product we need the most.
If this blog should find it’s way to Elon Musk,founder of electric car company Tesla Motors, I know about 8.18 million people that would line up to buy that in-home use battery you are developping.