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Hydro-Québec to reimburse customers starting next year

Hydro-Québec rates will be frozen as of April 2020.
Hydro-Québec rates will be frozen as of April 2020. Mark Lennihan/AP/The Canadian Press

A freeze to Hydro-Québec’s rate will begin in April 2020 after the Quebec government passed legislation that allows it to take control of the rates charged for electricity in the province.

The public utility confirmed in a statement on Monday that the change comes under the adoption of Bill 34 this past weekend.

READ MORE: Legault government invokes closure to pass Hydro-Québec rates bill

As part of the plan, Hydro-Québec will also return $500 million to customers in January. The organization said the rebate amounts will be based on electricity consumption between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2019.

As a result, residential clients can expect to see about a $60 credit on their bill between January and April 2020. The exact amount issued to each customer will only be known in January, according to Hydro-Québec.

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READ MORE: CAQ tables bill calling for Hydro-Québec to reimburse customers for overbilling

Hydro-Québec will also reimburse former clients who are no longer account holders with cheques in 2020. However, those people must contact the public utility to provide their new address.

The Legault government invoked closure on Saturday to pass Bill 34. After Quebec MNAs spent the day debating, it was adopted after midnight with 60 votes in support and 39 in opposition.

The legislation imposes frozen rates for 2020 that will then be raised according to inflation. Hydro-Québec will also no longer have to undergo an annual examination by Quebec’s energy board.

Click to play video 'Quebec government invokes closure on Bill 34' Quebec government invokes closure on Bill 34
Quebec government invokes closure on Bill 34 – Dec 7, 2019

— With files from the Canadian Press