Consumers can still take advantage of the flexibility of Hydro-Québec, and this, despite the fact that the corporation has accumulated losses of$ 150 Million since the beginning of the COVID-19 because of the fall of electricity consumption in the industrial and commercial sectors.
Even if the economic recovery is in sight for several weeks, Hydro-Québec has decided to maintain, until further notice, its moratorium on winter disconnections as a result of pandemic.
This means that the corporation does not make any disconnection for people in default for several months. Hydro-Québec did not want to say if this could remain for the whole year 2020.
For information, in 2019, the electricity supplier had opened 49 497 power outages, an increase of 14% compared to 2018. Hydro-Québec amounted to$ 97.6 Million for its financial losses.
Contacted by The Newspaper, Hydro-Québec reiterated that the effect of the relief measures will have ” an impact on the increase in the expense for bad debts “. The State-owned company, however, refuses to provide the number of clients with delay in payments.
Impact impossible to measure
“It is impossible to measure the effect of the situation of the COVID-19 on the expense of bad debts “, says the spokesman, Louis-Olivier Batty. “The portrait of the impacts will be known at the end of the year 2020. For the moment, we dedicate our efforts to support our customers in trouble and not to recognise the losses, ” he continued.
Moreover, since the 23 march, Hydro-Québec has suspended the application of administration fees to the unpaid invoices for all customers. The people in financial difficulties may enter into agreements to defer or spread out over months their payments.
In 2019, Hydro-Québec had agreements with 223 103 individuals. Usually, the moratorium winter runs from 1 December to 31 march.
The State-owned company note have been recorded since the beginning of the crisis a decrease of the total electricity consumption.
“If the residential consumption has increased 4.09 %, it has dropped in industry (-9,43 %) and commercial (-10,8 %) to result in a decline in overall -5,49 % “, concludes Mr. Batty.