Frequently asked questions about changing your address online.

What should I do if I own a rental property and do not want to be responsible for the electricity bill between rentals?

If you don’t want to be responsible for the electricity bill for a dwelling between two rentals, you must use the Manage Rental Units management tool for rental unit owners and managers. You can find out who is responsible for the electricity bill—the owner or the tenant—or update this information anytime, with just a few clicks.

I tried to use the Change address online service but the system can’t find my new address. What do I need to do?

Make sure you have only entered the “street number” without the street name or the apartment number in the “Building number” box on the form. Then check the postal code on the Canada Post Web site to make sure it corresponds to the address. If you are still experiencing difficulties, please contact our customer services.

Is it possible to change the date on which I will leave my current address or my arrival date at my new address?

If your plans change, be sure to inform us of your new moving-in or moving-out date.

It’s easy to do from your Customer Space by selecting your arrival or departure date.

Security measures

What security measures do you have in place to protect the personal information in my Customer Space?

Please refer to Our Commitment to Your Privacy in the Security section.

Why did I receive an email, a letter or a notification when I made changes to my personal information?

It is an additional security measure designed to ensure the protection of your personal information. We will send you an email, letter or notification whenever changes are made to the following personal information: address, phone number associated with your account, email address, banking information and identification numbers (SIN, NEQ, etc.).

If you should receive such an email, letter or notification when no changes were made to your personal information by you or a person authorized to act on your behalf, please contact us.

What should I do if I receive an email or a text message with a link that takes me to a web page where I am asked to enter personal information?

You should always make sure that the message comes from a reliable source. We recommend that you always access the Hydro-Québec site by using your browser rather than by clicking on a link. We encourage you to exercise extreme caution, as fake emails and text messages appearing to come from Hydro-Québec are being sent to our customers on a regular basis.

Under no circumstances should you provide banking information by email or text. If you receive an email or a text asking for personal information, it may be an attempt at phishing.

To learn how to recognize a fake message, visit the Fraud prevention page on our website.

Why did I receive a security code by text message (SMS) or by email?

We may need to verify your identity when you contact us, when a Hydro-Québec representative calls you or when an account is added in your Customer Space. This security measure has been introduced in order to protect your personal information.

If you believe you received a security code by text message or email in error, please contact us as soon as possible.

What is a single-use security code?

It is a four-digit code that allows you to confirm your identity. It is only valid once, for a 30-minute period.

What should I do if I don’t receive the code by text message (SMS)?

You must check:

  1. If we have your correct cell phone number by going to your profile in your Customer Space
  2. To see if you can make calls with your cell phone and if you are in a zone with cell phone coverage by your service provider

A Hydro-Québec representative wants to confirm my identity by sending me a security code by text message (SMS). Why?

Verifying your identity using a security code could be required when you contact us or when a Hydro-Québec representative calls you. This security measure has been introduced in order to protect your personal information.

Updating my file

How do I change my email address in my Customer Space?

If you change email service providers or you would like to use different email addresses depending on the type of message (bill, newsletter, etc.), it is possible to make these changes in your Customer Space. However, if you would like to use just one email address, please make sure that you use the same email address everywhere in your customer file. Here is the procedure to follow to check or change which email addresses are included in your file:

  1. To change the email address for correspondence

    This is the email address we will use to send you information about your electricity service, such as messages notifying you when your bill is ready.
    Change the email address in your Profile.

  2. To change the email address to connect to your Customer Space

    This email address is used to log into your Customer Space.
    Change the email address in your Login information.

  3. To change the email address for newsletters

    This email address is used only for your subscriptions to Hydro-Québec’s various newsletters. To change the email address for newsletters, you must first unsubscribe from the newsletter(s) in your Subscription profile, and then create a new subscription profile with your new email address.

How do I change my phone number in my Customer Space?

Your phone number can come in handy if we need to contact you, especially for information regarding your account or planned service interruptions. You can provide us with one phone number or different numbers depending on the reason for the call. Here are the steps to follow to make the change in your Customer Space:

  1. Change the phone number associated with your account:

    This is the phone number we will use to reach you about your electricity service contract, among other things.
    Change one or more phone numbers in my Profile.

  2. Change the phone number to advise you of a planned service interruption:

    To ensure the reliability of the power grid, or for security reasons, we sometimes have to carry out work that calls for the temporary interruption of your electricity service.
    Change the phone number to advise you of a planned service interruption

Frequently asked questions about Customer Space

What should I do if I’ve forgotten my password to log in to my Customer Space?

Click on the link Forgot your password? on the login page and follow the instructions.

What should I do if I clicked Forgot your password? and entered my email address to receive an email to select a new password but never received an email?

We suggest you check your spam folder. If the message isn’t there, contact us.

Why is the password I chose invalid?

Your password must be at least eight characters long and include at least one uppercase letter and one lowercase letter. It must have no more than four consecutive characters that are contained in your email address.

Do I have to use the same email address that I use for correspondence from Hydro-Québec (Online Billing, newsletters, notices, etc.) to log in to my Customer Space?

No. You can use two different email addresses: one to log in to your Customer Space and the other to receive correspondence.

What should I do if I’ve forgotten the email address I use to log in to my Customer Space?

Did you try logging in to your Customer Space using the email address you use for correspondence with us (Online Billing, newsletters, notices, etc.)? If you still can’t connect, please contact us.

Can I change the email address I use to log in to my Customer Space?

Of course! First, log in to your Customer Space. Then, select Login information in the top right-hand corner of your screen, under your name. You’ll then be able to edit your information.

I can log in to my Customer Space from my computer, but not my tablet. Why?

Our services do not support certain older devices and operating systems. Make sure you are using a device and a browser supported by Hydro-Québec.

Where should I enter the six-digit activation code I received from the customer services representative?

If you received a six-digit activation code, then you’ve received the email with instructions to activate your Customer Space.

In the email, click Activate my Customer Space, then Log in to my Customer Space or Create my Customer Space, as the case may be. You will then be asked to enter the six-digit activation code.

I’ve tried to log in to my Customer Space several times, unsuccessfully. Is there a limit to the number of tries?

If you tried to log in five or more times unsuccessfully, we may have blocked access to your Customer Space for security reasons. You can wait 15 minutes and then try again.

If the problem persists, contact us.

Can I share the login information for my Customer Space?

We advise you not to do this. We strongly recommend that you do not share your login information (email address and password) for your Customer Space with anyone.

I can’t log in to my Customer Space while I’m out of Canada. How come ?

Access to the Hydro-Québec Customer Space has been restricted to certain countries. That’s why you can’t access your Customer space from unauthorized countries. A number of options are available:

  • Contact customer services:
    • Go to Contact us to find the right phone number for your request, and call us at your expense by dialing 00 before the number. For example, dial 00-1-888 385-7252 for a question about your bill or your consumption.
    • By using an online app to make your call (voice over IP, or VoIP).
  • Opt for Pre-authorized Debit, and the amount of your bill will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account on the due date.
  • Designate an authorized person (proxy) who will be able to add your account to their Customer Space and act on your behalf.
  • Get an email notification and pay your bill online through your financial institution.
  • If you are outside the country and would like to receive paper bills, you can change your billing address. However, given that postal delays vary depending on the address, it is preferable to sign up for Pre‑authorized Debit so that you can pay your bill on time (within 21 days of the billing date).

Access to other features in the Customer Space, including the Energy Performance Indicator, your Consumption Profile, billing history and the online change of address service, is also restricted.

There are 14 countries from which you can access your Customer Space: Canada, United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Spain.

Frequently asked questions about changing your address online.

I want to remove the name of a contract holder but my address will remain the same. What do I need to do?

In the menu on the left, under Moving, select Remove address in order to remove the name of one of the contract holders.

Important: At the first step, select “No, at least one of the contract holders will stay at this address.”

You will then be able to select the name of the person who is moving out and specify the date on which his or her responsibility will end. However, if there are several contract holders and you want to remove more than one, you will need to contact customer services.

I want to add the name of a new contract holder on my invoice but we are not moving. What do I need to do?

To add another contract holder, you will need to terminate the current contract and create a new one.

  • There is no charge if you make your request online using Hydro‑Québec’s self-service tool
  • If you make your request through a Hydro‑Québec customer service representative, you will be charged a $25 fee (plus taxes)

In the menu on the left, under Moving, select Remove address to terminate the current contract. Then select Add address to create a new group of electricity contract holders and specify the date. Please note that the new contract holders must provide their social insurance number.

I am moving to a new address but I will be temporarily responsible for the electricity bill at my current address. Can I deal with this online?

If, for instance, you are buying a house and you are responsible for the electricity bill at that location as of today, and you will be terminating your responsibility at your former address at a later date. No fees will be charged if you notify us of the details of your move using the Change address self-service tool.

Why is the time between the billing date and the payment deadline 21 days?

Québec public service companies require bill payment 12 to 30 days from the billing date. Hydro‑Québec is therefore about average, with a due date 21 days after the billing date.

The 21-day deadline has remained unchanged since 1987. With the creation of the Régie de l’énergie in 1996, Hydro‑Québec indicated that it wished to maintain this bill payment deadline, which the Régie approved. It is still in effect and is presented in section 4.2.2 of the current Conditions of Service.

If you receive your bill by mail, delivery will eat into this 21-day period. By signing up for Pre-authorized Debit and Online Billing, you won’t miss a day and can access your bills at any time in your Customer Space.

Can billing periods be at set dates?

No, bills are issued according to a pre-determined annual billing schedule that takes into account meter-reading dates and business days. Your next scheduled billing date is available in your Customer Space. If you don’t already have a Customer Space, now’s the time to create it!

Is it possible to choose the due date of my payment?

No, it is not possible to choose the due date of your payment.

How can I get a copy of my bill?

To save time, go directly to your Customer Space to print a copy of your bill. Bills are archived for two years. If you don’t already have a Customer Space, now’s the time to create one!

You can also contact customer services and we will send you a copy of your bill.

How can I receive my bill by e-mail?

We don’t send bills by e-mail, but if you sign up for Online Billing in your Customer Space, you’ll receive an e-mail message with the amount owing and due date. You can also view your bill at any time in your Customer Space.

You can also contact customer services and we will sign you up.

Why is my bill higher this winter?

Bills are usually higher in winter than the rest of the year.

A number of factors affect the amount of your electricity bill, such as the outdoor temperature, your home’s characteristics, the number of people in your household, your appliances and your lifestyle.

A good way to avoid having higher bills in winter is to sign up for the Equalized Payments Plan (EPP). With the EPP, we estimate your annual electricity cost based on your past consumption and spread it out over 12 equal monthly installments. That way, you pay the same amount every month, which makes budgeting easier.

Why are fees for meter-reading billed every month when the meter is read only once a year?

This fee structure was approved by the Régie de l’énergie. Annual meter-reading costs are spread out over 12 months, even though non-communicating meters may not be read once a month.

Is it possible to pay the same amount every month for a one-year period?

Yes, you can pay the same amount every month if you sign up for the Equalized Payments Plan in your Customer Space, subject to certain eligibility conditions.

We estimate the cost of your annual electricity consumption and spread it out over 12 equal monthly installments. You’ll pay the same amount each month, which will make budgeting easier.

If you don’t have a Customer Space, you can also contact customer services.

I receive a bill each month because I’m signed up for the Equalized Payments Plan (EPP). Why is my consumption only indicated every two months?

Despite the installation of new communicating meters, Hydro‑Québec’s billing cycle is currently based on a reading every two months.

But you can view your monthly, daily and even hourly consumption in your Customer Space with the tool My Consumption Profile.

See My Consumption Profile

Is it possible to pay my bill by credit card?

Hydro‑Québec does not accept this type of payment because of the fees charged by credit card companies. Such fees would have an impact on the rates that all customers pay.

I’ll be leaving on vacation soon and I’d like to know the amount of my next bill so I can pay it in advance.

We can’t tell you the amount of your next bill until we get the meter-reading.

However, to find out the date of your next bill, you can go to your Customer Space. If you haven’t created a Customer Space, you can call our customer service before your departure.

To make your life easier, we suggest you sign up for Online Billing. You’ll receive an e-mail telling you the amount to be paid and the due date. You’ll be on top of things, wherever you are!

To simplify your life even further, you can sign up for Pre-Authorized Debit so that the amount on your bill is automatically debited from your bank account on the due date.

Nothing is displayed when I click on the link to see my bill. I can’t display my bill in PDF format. What should I do?

If you cannot see your bill, please contact our technical support team.

With Online Billing, can I keep getting my bills by mail?

Residential customers (Rate D) cannot continue to receive their bills by regular mail. To assist in their accounting operations, business customers (Rate G, G9, M or DM) can continue to receive printed bills along with their online bills by simply selecting the Receive bills by mail option.

If I sign up for Online Billing, how do I pay my bill?

You have a choice of four ways to pay:

  • Pre-authorized Debit—The amount to be paid is automatically debited from your bank account on the due date
  • Your financial institution’s Internet banking service
  • At an ATM or by telephone, if you have added Hydro‑Québec a biller at your financial institution
  • Hydro‑Québec’s Online Payment service—Make payments from your Customer Space

In fact, the only methods of payment that don’t work with Online Billing are those that require a printed payment stub.

Can I pay my online bill at an ATM?

Yes, provided that your financial institution offers biller registration. Simply add Hydro‑Québec as a biller, with your account number, and you’ll be able to make payments without a stub.

I’m already signed up for Online Billing. Can I sign up for the Equalized Payments Plan (EPP)?

Yes. You can sign up, subject to certain eligibility conditions, for the EPP from your Customer Space or by calling the toll-free customer services number, 1 888 385-7252.

I’ve opted for the Equalized Payments Plan (EPP). Can I keep using it if I sign up for Online Billing?

Yes. Signing up for Online Billing will not affect the services you already have, like the EPP or Pre-authorized Debit.

How much does it cost to use Online Billing?

Nothing. Hydro‑Québec provides this service free of charge.

Can I keep my online bills?

Yes. Your bills are automatically archived for two years and you can view them from your Customer Space. You can also save them on your computer or print them out and file them, just like any other PDF document.

How long will my online bills be available in my Customer Space?

Your bills will be available in your Customer Space for two years. If you wish to keep them longer, you can save them on your computer or print them out and file them, just like any other PDF document.

What happens if I move?

Just notify us of your change of address, and your Customer Space will automatically be updated. You’ll receive, as usual, an e-mail message informing you that your bill is ready and waiting. The final invoice for your old address will also be available there.

How long will it take to receive my first online bill after I sign up?

As soon as a bill is issued, Hydro‑Québec will send you an e-mail notification, telling you the amount due, the balance and the due date. The e-mail will include a link to your Customer Space, where you can view your bill.

Can I cancel Online Billing from my Customer Space?

Yes. If you do, you’ll receive your future bills by regular mail.

Could I still be receiving a paper bill even if I’m signed up for Online Billing?

Yes. Even if you’ve signed up for Online Billing, you could still be receiving a paper bill. Here’s why:

  • If you’re the proxy holder and you’ve signed up for Online Billing, you’ll still receive a paper bill as long as the account holder hasn’t signed up for Online Billing.
  • If you’re the account holder or account manager of a business account and you’ve signed up for Online Billing, you will continue to receive a bill by mail unless you cancel it. To do so, log into your Customer Space, open the Online Billing page and opt out of receiving your bill by mail.

If one of the contract holders in a group contract signs up for Online Billing, how does it affect the other members of the group?

  • Business rate: If one of the contract holders in the group signs up for Online Billing, this in no way affects how the other members of the group receive their bill.
  • Domestic rate: If one of the contract holders in the group signs up for Online Billing, paper bills will no longer be issued for any members of the group.

Once I sign up for Online Payment, how long will it be before I can start submitting payment orders?

You can start submitting payment orders as soon as you sign up. You can even pay your most recent bill this way, if you like.

Can I submit payment orders in advance?

Yes. You can schedule payments up to six months in advance.

Can I submit one or more payment orders and pay an amount of my choosing on each contract?

Yes. You can decide how much to pay on each contract. Unless you notify us otherwise, please note that each payment will be applied against the account in this order:

  1. Deposit
  2. Charge for work for reconnection
  3. Other charges (administration fees, for example) and electricity consumption, in the order in which they were incurred.

This priority applies, no matter what your method of payment.

I receive confirmation when I submit a payment order?

Yes. You will receive a confirmation number for each payment order. You can display a detailed list of your payment orders from your Customer Space, which indicates whether each order is pending, completed or refused. You can also modify a payment order that has not yet been processed.

Can I sign up for Online Payment without Online Billing?

Yes, but there are many advantages to signing up for Online Billing.

How much does it cost to use Online Payment?

Nothing. Hydro‑Québec provides this service free of charge. However, some financial institutions charge a service fee for debits.

How can I know if my financial institution has refused a payment that I ordered?

The word “Refused” will appear in red on your list of payments, and your account balance will be adjusted accordingly. Note, however, that it takes a few days for your financial institution to process your payment order and accept or refuse it.

I’m already signed up for the Pre-authorized Debit service. Can I keep using it if I sign up for Online Billing?

Yes. The amount to be paid is still automatically debited from your bank account on the due date.

Can I make changes to my bank account information online?

Yes, you can change the bank account used for your pre-authorized debits in your Customer Space.

Can I choose the debit date?

No. With Pre-authorized Debit, all bill payments are debited from your bank account on the due date.

Can I switch from Pre-authorized Debit to Online Payment?

Yes, but you must call us to cancel your Pre-authorized Debit service before signing up for Online Payment in your Customer Space.

How much does it cost to use Pre-authorized Debit?

Nothing. Hydro‑Québec provides this service free of charge. However, some financial institutions charge a service fee for debits.

General questions

Who can use the Energy Performance Indicator?

All residential customers* with contracts at Rate D without billing demand, including those with the Winter Credit option, Flex D and DT, whether homeowners or tenants, can use the Energy Performance Indicator for their primary or secondary residence. The rate you pay is indicated on your bill.

However, certain data is required to ensure the comparison is valid and useful. The following conditions apply:

  • You must be responsible for the contract, and the contract must be for your main residence. In other words, the electricity bill must be in your name, you must live at the address and your contract must be active.
  • Your must have a consumption history of at least 28 days for the analysis period to be valid.
  • The consumption on your last bill in the analysis period must not have been estimated (E).
  • The consumption in the billing period before the analysis period must not have been estimated (E).
  • Your building must be exclusively residential.
  • If the rate applied to your service contract has changed, you must have at least one full consumption profile period at the current rate.

*A lack of comparable data makes it impossible to create a home profile for residents of Schefferville and Nunavik and for municipal grid customers. However, other Hydro-Québec energy efficiency programs are available. Please ask your municipal utility about programs in your community.

Does not apply to contracts at Rate DM.

I no longer wish to receive follow-up emails to track my energy use. Can I unsubscribe?

You can unsubscribe from emails and still access the analysis of your home’s electricity use. To unsubscribe, go to your Customer Space and click on the Alerts and newsletters tab. After you’ve unsubscribed, you may continue to receive communications for a period of up to ten days.

Questionnaire: My home’s profile

How does the profile work?

Go to your Customer Space to fill out a short questionnaire with nine simple steps.

Your answers will be used to:

  • Match you with a comparison group.
  • Provide the data needed by the algorithm to calculate the breakdown of your consumption by use.
  • Provide personalized recommendations for your action plan.

Will my answers be shared with anyone outside Hydro-Québec?

No. The information you provide will be kept entirely confidential, as required by the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information (R.S.Q. c A-2.1). Only authorized Hydro-Québec employees will have access to it.

How long does Hydro-Québec keep personal information?

Your personal information will be kept for up to two years after you last use the energy performance indicator or until the end of your contract with Hydro-Québec, unless you withdraw your consent, in which case the data will be destroyed immediately.

I live in a one-story single-family dwelling between a duplex and a triplex. Is it considered a detached house or a row house attached on both sides?

If there is no space between your house and your next-door neighbors, you live in a row house attached on both sides. In the questionnaire, a detached house is one with land between it and the next house on either side. The same applies to duplexes and triplexes.

We live in a bungalow, but we converted the basement to an apartment that we rent out to students. Is it considered a duplex?

Yes. If the basement has been converted into an apartment with its own address and a separate electricity meter, your house consists of two units and is therefore a duplex.

I live on the third floor of a triplex that has been subdivided into two apartments. The building contains four units. Is it still a triplex or is it a building with 4 to 8 units?

The building has had four addresses since it was subdivided, and it is very likely that each unit has its own electricity meter. You should answer that it is a building with 4–8 units. A triplex always has three units (three addresses), whether they are on two or three floors. For example, a two-story building with one apartment downstairs and two upstairs is considered a triplex.

At the beginning of the year, there were four of us (my husband, our two children and me) living in our house. When our third child was born in February, my mother came to stay for six months to help out. It’s the end of July and I’m filling out my home’s profile. How many occupants should I put down?

You can make retroactive changes to your home’s profile up until the date of the last change. You can therefore change the profile to six occupants retroactively from February. It’s important to note that you must always start with the oldest change. Change the number of individuals to six since February and then to five when your mother is no longer living with you on a full-time basis.

My two children live with me every other week. My new partner has sole custody of her daughter. Does that make three or five occupants?

Actually, that makes four. If your partner and her daughter have lived with you for the past 12 months (the analysis period), you should answer four occupants. You + your partner + her daughter make three. Your two children together count as just one occupant because they only live with you half the time.

Occupants Time Occupants for year
(occupants x time)
4 1 year 4
2 1/2 year 1
Response 5

I live in an 800–square foot loft. Is it considered a single room?

In open-plan homes like lofts, there are usually different areas for different purposes. Consider each area as a room (e.g., kitchen, dining room, bedroom, etc.).

I have a condo. Should I count common spaces as heated rooms?

No. If you don’t pay directly to heat them, don’t count them. The cost of heating common areas is usually built into condo fees.

I’m answering the questions about our country house, which we only occupy on weekends and a few weeks a year. In winter, the heating is turned down during the week. Should I reduce the number of occupants to reflect the fact that we’re not there a lot?

No. The number of occupants should be the number of people who are there when the house is occupied. Later in the questionnaire, there is a question about seasonal occupation.

How can I tell whether my electricity bill covers the cost of hot water?

If you’re a tenant, check your lease to see whether hot water is included in your rent. If it is, your landlord pays for it and your electricity bill doesn’t cover it.

If you have a gas water heater, then your electricity bill doesn’t cover hot water.

I live in an building with a pool. Should I count that?

No. As a rule, either the building owner pays the pool’s operating costs or they’re covered by condo fees or rent. They are not included in your electricity bill.

If I move, can I answer the questionnaire again to create my new home’s profile?

Yes. Each profile is for a specific address. So, if you move, you’ll have to fill out the questionnaire again. However, you’ll have to live at your new address for a while to accumulate the consumption data needed to create your new home’s profile (at least one full billing period in most cases).

Can I change my answers if my situation changes? How often should I update my home’s profile?

We recommend that you update your home’s profile at least once a year so the energy performance indicator can accurately reflect your consumption. A reminder will appear in your profile every six months.

You should also update your profile when your situation changes. For example, if you put in a pool, add it to your answers to the questionnaire so it’s accounted for in the breakdown by use.

If you need to update several answers to the questionnaire and the changes in your home didn’t all occur at the same, we recommend you modify your questionnaire in steps, starting with the oldest change, so the results accurately reflect your reality.

My Consumption Profile

Where does the information on my electricity use and outdoor temperature come from?

Consumption

If you have a communicating meter, it automatically records and transmits your electricity use every day. To determine your daily use, we take the last reading received each day and subtract it from the reading taken the day before. The result of this calculation is obtained overnight, meaning that each morning you can check how much electricity you used the previous day.

If you have a non-communicating meter, a reading is taken at least once a year. To establish your electricity use during the period, we take the latest reading and subtract the previous reading. We then calculate your average daily consumption to determine your monthly electricity use.

Outdoor temperature

The mean outdoor temperature curves are based on data supplied daily by the weather station nearest you. These curves can help you understand how temperature affects your electricity use. If your home is far from the station, the outside temperature in your area may differ from that shown.

Dual-energy (Rate DT) customers

Please note that the mean outdoor temperature is not the temperature measured by the sensor for Rate DT billing. The outdoor temperature may have dropped below your rate’s threshold (-12°C or -15°C, depending on where you live) throughout the day, even if the mean temperature shown is -10°C. To learn more, see our detailed information on Rate DT.

Where does the information on my electricity use for heating and air-conditioning come from?

The Energy Performance Indicator estimates the consumption associated with certain uses, such as heating and air-conditioning, based on your answers to the questionnaire, billing data and the technical and meteorological data available to us.

There is no submetering. That means that we have no way of knowing the consumption associated with each appliance or system in your home.

Why do I see heating or air-conditioning in earlier periods but not the current one?

To display heating or air-conditioning, we need data for a period of at least 28 days.

Why do I see heating or air-conditioning when I didn’t use any?

There are several possible reasons. If you haven’t already filled out the questionnaire to create your home’s profile, the algorithm only considers whether your consumption changed based on outdoor temperature. It may erroneously assign a value to heating or air-conditioning. For example, if you started heating or air-conditioning late in the season, when there were very low or very high mid-season temperatures, the model may have estimated that you used these systems all day.

Other situations, like if you shut off your air-conditioning while you were away on vacation, may also affect the estimate.

Why do I see consumption data when there was an outage?

Don’t worry: we never bill for electricity you did not use.

It can happen that data relating to your electricity use before or after an outage may not have been transmitted in real time. When data is received after an outage, our system spreads out the consumption over the number of days since the last reading. The striped lines indicate that the consumption was spread out in this way.

For example:

  • Day 1: You consumed 30 kWh. There was an outage on that day.
  • Day 2: The outage continued all day. You used 0 kWh.
  • Day 3: Electricity service was restored during the day. You consumed 30 kWh, and the meter transmitted data for the past three days.

Your consumption of 60 kWh was spread over three days:

  • Day 1: 20 kWh
  • Day 2: 20 kWh
  • Day 3: 20 kWh

Note: In the Hours tab, you’ll see your consumption hour by hour, and 0 kWh will be displayed for the duration of the outage.

I just moved. Why don’t I have access to the tool?

You must wait 10 days from the start of your service contract to view your Consumption Profile. We need those 10 days to verify the information related to your change of address. If you notified us after your move, the 10-day period starts on the day you informed us of your change of address.

Why isn’t the daily data from yesterday available in my Consumption Profile?

Due to telecommunications issues, our systems were unable to read the meter remotely. Our monitoring teams are aware of each of these situations and work to resolve them as soon as possible.

Even though there are telecommunications issues, your meter continues to measure and correctly record your actual consumption data.

What happens if my meter can’t be read for a day or longer?

As soon as we are able to read your meter again, we will subtract the result of the previous reading to calculate your electricity use and determine an average for your consumption based on the number of missing days. These days will be represented graphically as striped lines with a legend explaining the situation.

Example:
Meter reading on February 23 at 23:59: 31,592.58 kWh
Meter reading on February 24 at 23:59: unavailable
Meter reading on February 25 at 23:59: 31,690.10 kWh

Calculating average consumption
February 25 reading: 31,690,10 kWh
Minus February 23 reading: 31,592,58 kWh
Consumption over two days: 97.52 kWh

The Consumption Profile tool will show:

  • 48.76 kWh for February 24
  • 48.76 kWh for February 25 (97.52 kWh divided by 2).

The 97.52 kWh total is your actual consumption over the two days that will be shown as an average consumption (distributed evenly over the two days).

Why is electricity use per day provided, whereas hourly use for a given day is either not provided or incomplete?

Daily data comes from a cumulative reading of your meter taken at the end of each day. Based on these readings, we establish your bill for a given period through subtraction. These readings appear on your bill.

Hourly electricity use is calculated through our advanced metering infrastructure. It uses readings of the amount of energy used over a given interval (15 minutes). For example, 2 kWh consumed between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m.

A single meter generates more than 35,000 readings a year! Telecommunications issues can affect the ability of our systems to record the data for all intervals. Our monitoring teams are aware of each of these situations and work to improve the availability of electricity consumption data. However, your meter is in good working order and correctly records your actual electricity use at home.

There’s a difference between the electricity consumption used to calculate my bill and what I see in my daily history. How come?

Calculating your electricity consumption for billing purposes does not include decimals (and fractions of kWh consumed are not reflected on your bill), even though our metering infrastructure measures them. For example, if the meter reading is 1,596.86 kWh, the figure used for the billing period is 1,596. The remaining 0.86 kWh will be taken into account when calculating the next bill.

However, decimals are used in your Consumption Profile’s daily history. You might therefore notice a slight discrepancy (±1 kWh) between the two figures.

If your meter uses a billing multiplier, the maximum difference corresponds to the value of the multiplier, since your electricity consumption will be multiplied by this figure. The potential difference is the same, whether you’re looking at the data for a single day, 30 days or 60 days.

The consumption forecast for the current period doesn’t seem accurate. Why?

The forecast is established in dollars and kWh, based on the consumption history of your home and your area’s normal temperatures during the period. If these variables change, the forecast may no longer reflect reality.

Forecasts are updated daily based on actual electricity use. Your forecast could go up if you were to use more electricity than usual, for example, if temperatures were colder than normal and you use electric heating. By the same token, it could also go down if you were to use less electricity. One thing is certain: the forecast will be more accurate at the end of a given period than at the start.

If you’ve been living at your current address for less than a year, the forecast may be less accurate because your household’s consumption habits are probably different from those of the previous occupants.

The service address history must include at least 11 months of data for the forecast to appear in your Consumption Profile.

The download includes temperature and reading codes. What do they mean?

R: Real
M: Average
E: Estimate
N/A: Not available
P: Partial
Non CNG: non-communicating meter (no daily readings) OR average

How do time intervals work for customers with billing demand?

Consumption for a 15-minute interval—for example, between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m.—will be indicated at the start of the interval, i.e., at 6:15 p.m.

Analysis of my consumption

My home’s score

How is my home’s score established?

Your answers to the questionnaire used to create your home’s profile will determine your household’s comparison group.

You will then receive your score for the year or the billing period, which includes:

  • A dial showing how your electricity use measures up to the comparison group average (note that your score is based on your actual electricity use, not on an estimate)
  • The difference between your use and the average, in both kilowatthours and dollars
  • The percentage of households in your comparison group that use less electricity than yours
  • Tips to save electricity

A graph will display how your electricity use changed over time at each billing period for up to 24 months, provided we have enough data.

Does the tool compare fuel consumption results?

The tool only looks at electricity data. If any other type of energy (such as gas or wood) is used in your home, it will not be compared.

However, the use of other energy sources is taken into consideration when determining the comparison group. For example, if your household uses fuel for its main heating system, it will be compared to other households that use a source other than electricity to heat their homes.

How is the comparison done?

Your answers to the questionnaire to create your home’s profile and other specific characteristics are used.

Based on your answers, your home is assigned to a comparison group—a group of households with profiles similar to yours.

The Energy Performance Indicator calculates your electricity use for a given analysis period. It establishes the average electricity consumption for the comparison group in the same period and adjusts it according to the temperatures in your region and your use of an electric vehicle, if applicable. It then compares your electricity use with the group average.

The following characteristics are used to determine your profile:

  • Dwelling type: detached house, semidetached house, row house, duplex, triplex, etc.
  • Number of heated rooms
  • Energy source used for heating and water heating
  • Number of occupants
  • Whether or not there is pool and, if there is, how it is heated

Combinations of these characteristics are used to create over 1,000 comparison groups. This makes the comparison group average more accurate and appropriate than the average of all residential customers would have been. In other words, we are making sure to compare apples with apples.

Your total electricity consumption is based on your billing data. You can also see this data in your Consumption Profile.

Is geographic area also taken into account?

Yes. The electricity use of your comparison group is adjusted according to the temperatures recorded in your area during the analysis period. A household in Abitibi doesn’t have the same heating needs as a family living in downtown Montréal. That’s why we take geography into account.

To make the adjustment, we use a mathematical formula based on heating degree-days in your region during the analysis period.

Do you consider air-conditioning and hot tub use to determine my home’s score?

No. Air-conditioning and hot tub use are not considered. However, if you have an air conditioner or hot tub, their electricity use is included in your total consumption. In addition, their electricity use is reflected in the average consumption of the comparison groups. Extensive use of air-conditioning or your hot tub may explain why your consumption is higher than the average.

How do you consider the use of an electric vehicle?

Electric vehicle consumption can vary significantly from one household to another and one region to the next, depending on the temperature. That’s why the values for your comparison group were adjusted to include the same consumption associated to electric vehicle use as calculated in the breakdown of your electricity use.

The calculation is based on averages. If you do a lot of driving, your electricity use may be higher than the average, and that will be reflected in the comparison with your group.

My score indicates that I use less electricity than the comparison group. Does that mean I shouldn’t change anything?

No. But it does mean you’re on the right track! If you haven’t put them into practice yet, the recommendations in the Action plan section of the energy performance indicator will help you be even more energy-efficient.

Don’t forget that your comparison group’s average may change. Your position with respect to the group may also change. You can track your score with every new bill based on a meter reading.

If your consumption surpasses the average of your comparison group in a future period, consider putting the recommendations for those periods or seasons into practice.

My result shows that my electricity use is higher than the group average, but I don’t understand why.

Your home may have a feature that sets it apart from the majority of homes in your comparison group. For example, a house with 12 heated rooms may be compared with houses that have seven or more rooms. Five rooms can make a huge difference when it comes to energy consumption.

If the characteristics of your household are closer to those of the comparison group, the difference is probably due to your energy use habits and your home’s energy efficiency. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to improve your household’s energy performance.

To get a clearer idea of the energy efficiency measures to put into practice and how they could affect your electricity use (in cost and kilowatthours), take a look at the personalized recommendations in the Action plan section of the energy performance indicator.

How often is my score updated?

Your score and your comparison group average are updated every billing period or whenever you change your answers to the questionnaire. You can also see how your score evolves over time.

Why don’t I see my score for my two years of electricity use in the subsection Track changes in my score?

The period for which your consumption is analyzed begins on the date indicated in section 9 of the questionnaire used to create the first version of your home’s profile.

For the energy performance indicator to display your energy use over time, there must be at least 28 days of data in your home’s profile.

At this time, you cannot make retroactive profile changes dated before your last change.

Why is there a break in the line that tracks my score?

Estimated consumption periods, changes to your profile and rate changes (except dynamic pricing) appear as breaks in the graph that tracks your score.

I put into practice the personalized energy efficiency measures in the Action plan of the Energy Performance Indicator, but my score indicates that my home still isn’t energy efficient. How come?

There are a few possible reasons:

  • Your improvements may be too recent to be reflected in the analysis of your electricity use. For example, if you modified characteristics of your home or changed certain habits related to heating, you won’t see a difference until the analysis period includes a heating season. To track changes in your electricity use and that of the comparison group, consult the Energy Performance Indicator regularly.
  • If the answers to the questionnaire to determine your home’s profile truly reflect your household, consider the ways you’re different from the comparison group and how that could have a negative impact on your results. For example, a house with 12 heated rooms may be compared with houses that have seven or more rooms. Five rooms can make a huge difference when it comes to energy consumption.
  • If you have a heated pool, there’s a good chance your electricity use is higher than the comparison group average because the group may include households with unheated pools (or pools heated without electricity).

I put some of the personalized energy efficiency measures in the Action plan of the Energy Performance Indicator into practice. When will I see a difference on my electricity bill?

You may start to see a difference in the My home’s score section of the Energy Performance Indicator starting in the next billing period. Some gains will appear a little later depending on the type of measures you put into practice and their seasonality. For example, if the changes involve heating, you won’t see a difference until the analysis period covers a heating season.

If my score is higher than average, will my bill go up?

No. Your home’s score has no effect on rates or billing. This tool helps you become more aware of how you use electricity by comparing your consumption with that of similar households and offers guidance on saving electricity.

Breakdown by use

How detailed is the breakdown by use?

We spread out your electricity use into different use categories (up to eight). You can track your consumption for each category throughout the year.

We estimate the categories that consume the most, like heating and air-conditioning, based on your meter readings. We then use statistical data and your answers to the questionnaire used to create your home’s profile to estimate the consumption attributable to the other use categories (e.g., pool, appliances, spa, hot water, electric vehicle, etc.).

By considering your actual consumption and our model, we are able to draw up a realistic overview of your electricity use breakdown.

What is a breakdown by use and how does it work?

The breakdown by use is a tool to help you become more aware of the ways in which the members of your household use electricity. An algorithm uses electricity data from your meter and your home’s profile to estimate the consumption associated with each use. There is no submetering, that is, we don’t measure the electricity used by each of your devices.

The electricity consumption of devices and appliances depends on their efficiency and how they are used, which may vary significantly from one household to the next. Therefore, some estimates may not represent your reality very accurately.

In addition, the estimated breakdown may not be the same as the estimates generated by other tools. The potential differences between estimates may be attributed to the hypotheses and models that are used.

What’s in the “Others” category?

The “Others” category includes three broad types:

  1. Uses whose consumption can’t be estimated accurately, such as lighting or electronics
  2. Loads whose relative values are very small
  3. Loads associated with non-typical uses, such as a sump pump

Why aren’t all the types of uses displayed for each billing period?

The breakdown of electricity uses does not indicate consumption under $1. Because the estimates are based on typical uses and not submetering, we can’t know the electricity used by each device you own.

For example, the pool may not appear on your November–December billing period even if you heated it.

Why does Data unavailable appear in the comparison with last year.

A number of reasons may explain this:

  • A period includes fewer than 50 valid days with the type of heating or air-conditioning indicated in the profile.
  • The analysis of one or several periods does not meet the level of certainty required by the algorithm (likely due to non-standard usage).

Some data is not available (N/A) in the comparison with last year. Why?

Generally, data is not available (N/A) when there is insufficient information to establish consumption for a particular usage. In most cases, this occurs when you make changes to your home’s profile.

I made a change in my home’s profile and my electricity use data isn’t displayed for the billing period. Why?

Because the exact date of the change is not required, we use the answers to the questionnaire that apply to most of the billing period and assume the change occurred on the first of the month. The consumption associated with some uses may therefore not appear on the bill for the period in which the change applies or they may be overestimated.

Action plan

What are the scales used to estimate the costs and savings associated with the recommendations?

The costs and savings are based on the following scale:*

  • No dollar sign = No cost or savings*
  • $1 – $25 = $
  • $26 – $100 = $$
  • $101 – $1,000 = $$$
  • $1,001 – $5,000 = $$$$
  • >$5,000= $$$$$

*These estimates are based on the application of the measures to a single-family home with four occupants. They are provided for information purposes to help you make decisions with respect to the projects you may wish to carry out. They are not sufficient to undertake major renovations. Any estimate must be validated on site, at your own request and expense, by a qualified expert in compliance with standard industry practice.

What do the codes associated with the recommendations mean?

New: A new recommendation is available in your list of recommendations.
Promo: A promotional offer associated with the recommendation is available.
Top 3: The three recommendations you’ve identified as priorities in your Action plan.
Calendar icon: The recommendation is only applicable in certain periods. It will appear in your Action plan when the time is right.
Leaf icon: If put into practice on a broad scale, by many people, the recommendation will have a significant collective impact.

Why did a recommendation I already applied appear in my Action plan again?

Certain recommendations are recurrent, that is, they concern measures that should be applied regularly, for example, every winter. Hydro-Québec has implemented automatic reminders so that you won’t forget about them.

What will I gain from filling out the Action plan?

You’ll stay up to date on the recommendations that will help you use electricity more wisely, save money and make your home more comfortable. You’ll also learn about promotional offers.

Meters

Billing

Why should I pay fees if I opt to have a non-communicating meter installed?

Unlike communicating meters, which are part of Hydro‑Québec’s basic service and can be read remotely for billing purposes, non-communicating meters must be read manually. From now on, only customers who have opted for non-communicating meters will have their meters read manually.

The costs associated with the choice of a non-communicating meter are based on the user-pay principle: it would be unfair to charge these costs to all of Hydro‑Québec’s customers.

It is important to note that customers can opt for the free basic service and have their non-communicating meter replaced with a communicating meter at any time.

Can communicating meters cause over-billing?

No. A Hydro‑Québec meter—be it electromechanical, radiofrequency or communicating—is never responsible for any changes in a customer’s bill.

All of our meters are approved by Measurement Canada. This independent organization imposes strict rules on companies to guarantee the precision of the measurement systems they use. Hydro‑Québec is required to install meters that will enable it to meet those standards, for the entire duration of the meters’ service life. The communicating meters Hydro‑Québec installs are therefore safe and reliable, and they record customers’ actual consumption.

Changes in your electricity bill can however be caused by variations in temperature and changes in your consumption habits.

It also bears noting that when a meter is replaced, an actual consumption reading is taken. If a customer did not grant Hydro‑Québec access to the meter for an extended period of time and did not fill in their meter-reading card, their billing is based on estimated consumption. It is therefore possible that a customer paid less than what was actually consumed, leading to an adjustment on a future electricity bill.

Are customers charged for the meters’ own energy consumption?

No, the meters don’t record the amount of electricity they use. In addition, the consumption of the meter components (metering card, communications card, etc.) is not included in the customer’s consumption and is not billed to the customer.

Why does the communicating meter installed at my home sometimes display “0 kwh”?

A communicating meter displays various pieces of information in sequence. If it displays “0 kwh” when electricity is being used, the display is generally a reading of the energy being fed into the Hydro‑Québec grid.

Though the vast majority of Hydro‑Québec’s residential customers do not generate electricity, some are self-generators, meaning they produce electricity to meet some or all of their needs using equipment that they own and run. They can avail themselves of the net metering option, through which Hydro‑Québec purchases any excess energy that the customer produces and feeds it to the system. Since most customers are not self-generators, it is normal that this display shows “0 kwh”.

Understanding meter displays

Do communicating meters affect Hydro‑Québec’s debt collection procedures?

No. Communicating meters have absolutely no impact on our collections procedure or on the decision of whether or not to disconnect a customer’s service. This procedure is well documented and approved by the Régie de l’énergie and involves sending several notices and reminders before proceeding with a service interruption, which is used only when all other steps have been exhausted. Service interruption is always a last resort. Hydro‑Québec’s objective is to get the customer to pay the balance due and not to disconnect service.

Hydro‑Québec encourages customers with good payment habits to call and make a payment arrangement if they are having difficulties paying their bills. Low-income customers can enter into a payment arrangement adapted to their situation at any time.

It is true it is simpler to interrupt or restore service with communicating meters, as the procedure no longer requires an employee to go on-site. However, the recovery procedure remains the same, whether a customer has a communicating meter or not. Interrupting service is always a last resort.

Electricity is one of the only services billed to customers after consumption. In the interest of fairness, Hydro‑Québec must ask all customers to pay for the electricity used. Otherwise, these amounts increase Hydro‑Québec’s bad debt expenses, which has an impact on the rates paid by all customers. It is important to note that close to 90% of customers pay their bills on or before the due date. In addition, electricity to the main residence of customers with electric heating is never cut during the winter period, between December 1 and March 31.

Installation

How many communicating meters does Hydro‑Québec have in its meter fleet?

Hydro‑Québec has installed over 3.9 million communicating meters to date, which corresponds to 98% of its fleet.

I just moved to an apartment with a non-communicating meter. What should I do if I want to have a communicating meter installed?

You don’t have to do anything. In fact, when a customer notifies us that they are moving out from an address that has a non-communicating meter, Hydro‑Québec automatically plans to replace the non-communicating meter with a communicating meter, free of charge. In addition to the free installation, no monthly metering charges will be billed to you, as your consumption data will be remotely and automatically transmitted to Hydro‑Québec.

I’m a condo owner or tenant and I want to have a non-communicating meter installed. Can I submit a request for myself and my neighbors as well?

To request the installation of a non-communicating meter for your condo or apartment, you have to be the person responsible for the electricity account at that address. You also must meet all the other prerequisite conditions [PDF 60 Kb] for this type of meter.

There is an installation charge for replacing a meter with a non-communicating meter and a monthly charge for manual meter-reading.

If your neighbors have electricity accounts in their own names, the decision to opt for a non-communicating meter or not is up to them.

The relations between co-owners or between tenants and landlords have nothing to do with Hydro‑Québec. As the Régie de l’énergie concluded in its decision, “the conditions of service cannot govern the contractual relations between a landlord and tenants or between co-owners. The solution to this problem is to be found in private law, not the conditions of service.”

Can I opt for the installation of a non-communicating meter if I have an electrical installation rated 400 A or less?

Customers with a single-phase electrical installation rated 400 A or less can opt for the installation of a non-communicating meter provided all prerequisite conditions for this type of meter have been met.

See Section 3.2.1 of the Conditions of Service – Request for a non-communicating meter. [PDF 4.55 Mb]

If you do opt for the installation of a non-communicating meter, you will not have access to your actual daily electricity use data in the My Consumption Profile section, and you will therefore not be able to better manage your consumption, which the communicating meter makes possible for you.

Will my power be cut during my meter replacement?

Yes, but only for a few minutes, while the old meter is removed and the new one is put in. Following this short service interruption, you’ll have to reset the time on your various appliances and electronics.

I have a backup power supply to prevent the failure of medical devices or other equipment. Will replacing the meter interfere with it in any way?

No. Replacing the meter will not interfere with your backup power supply, which can supply power while the installer is removing the old meter and putting in the new one. It only takes a few minutes. However, we recommend that you check that your backup power supply is working properly.

Can replacing a meter cause power surges that can damage electrical devices?

Taking out or putting in a meter does not cause a power surge. The power is cut only briefly so the meter can be replaced safely. It’s a simple operation, equivalent to switching a light on or off, for instance.

However, damage may occur in two exceptional situations independent of Hydro‑Québec activities:

  • if there is a problem with the customer’s electrical installation
  • if the customer’s electrical devices are more sensitive or are already susceptible at the time the meter is replaced

It is therefore important to have your meter socket, or base, checked regularly.

How do I know if my electrical installation is unsafe or non-compliant?

Here are some examples of electrical installations that do not meet the minimum clearance or height requirements, or are unsafe.

Meter embedded into the cladding of a house
Bush blocking access to the meter
Window frame in front of the meter, which requires at least 1 m clearance from any temporary or permanent obstruction
Roof collapsed over the meter
Meter placed above an excavation
What does Hydro‑Québec do with all the meters it replaces?

A supplier who is required to follow Hydro‑Québec’s strict procedure is responsible for recovering and recycling the materials in the old meters.

This process includes disassembling the meters so that each component can be recovered or recycled. All meters are recycled using this procedure.

Radiofrequencies

Are communicating meters safe?

Communicating meters meet all applicable standards issued by the competent regulatory bodies, including Health Canada, an organization that sets safety limits for radiofrequency exposure.

The table below compares the radiofrequency emission levels of various common devices against those of a communicating meter, using data provided by the Centre de Recherche Industrielle du Québec (CRIQ). In the case of the communicating meter, exposure levels were measured from a distance of one metre.

Radiofrequency exposure levels
Image showing the average level of exposure to radio frequencies of different devices

Key facts to remember:

  • Radiofrequency (RF) emission levels measured one metre away from a communicating meter are well below Health Canada limits (55,000 times lower).
  • Exposure to radiofrequency emissions one metre away from a communicating meter is minimal compared to that from other devices.
What is a radiofrequency meter?

A radiofrequency meter is an electronic meter that can be read from a distance, either by a meter reader carrying a handheld computer or by a communications network such as the one set up by Hydro‑Québec. The radiofrequency technology used in the meters is not new and is widely used in other devices, such as baby monitors and cordless phones. Hydro‑Québec has three main types of radiofrequency meters:

  1. 458 MHz meters

    The 458 MHz meter transmits only when the meter reader is nearby. The meter reader’s handheld computer sends a signal to wake up the meter, and the meter responds by sending its consumption data. Once the meter reader is back at the office, the data is transmitted to Hydro‑Québec’s billing system.

    There are very few meters of this type left in Hydro‑Québec’s fleet, and they haven’t been manufactured for many years now.

  2. 900 MHz meters

    The 900 MHz meter transmits periodically, whether or not there is a meter reader nearby. When close to the meter, the meter reader collects data using a handheld computer. Once the meter reader is back at the office, the data is transmitted to Hydro‑Québec’s billing system.

  3. Communicating meters

    The communicating meter records customers’ electricity consumption and allows Hydro‑Québec to read the data remotely without the need for a meter reader. Communicating meters emit radiofrequency energy intermittently several times a day, for a few milliseconds each time. Generally, total emission time is less than 90 seconds a day. Communicating meters are the current industry standard.

How many times a day does the meter emit RF energy? For a total of how long?

To transmit the recorded data, communicating meters emit radiofrequency energy intermittently several times a day, for a few milliseconds each time. Generally, total emission time is less than 90 seconds a day.

It’s important to know that the radiofrequency exposure levels at a distance of one metre from the communicating meter are approximately 55,000 times lower than the threshold recommended by Health Canada.

Health Canada says that “in cases where multiple smart meters are installed together, as in some townhouses or high-rise buildings, the total exposure levels from multiple smart meters will still be far below Health Canada’s RF energy exposure limits, due to the infrequent nature of transmissions.”

In December 2011, after a technical survey of communicating meters, Health Canada concluded that “exposure to RF energy from smart meters does not pose a public health risk.”

Does the radiofrequency energy emitted by communicating meters installed together in some buildings have a combined effect?

No. Health Canada says that “in cases where multiple smart meters are installed together, as in some townhouses or high-rise buildings, the total exposure levels from multiple smart meters will still be far below Health Canada’s RF energy exposure limits, due to the infrequent nature of transmissions.”

Can the radiofrequency emissions from communicating meters interfere with the operation of pacemakers or implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs)?

No. Tests conducted by Hydro‑Québec and Medtronic, the world’s largest supplier of pacemakers, in conjunction with the Montreal Heart Institute, have confirmed that the radiofrequency emissions from communicating meters do not interfere with the operation of these devices.

In fact, no interference was observed when the Medtronic pacemakers and ICDs were placed as close as possible to communicating meters manufactured by Landis+Gyr, Hydro‑Québec’s main supplier, even though the meters had been intentionally modified to emit radiofrequencies at an abnormally high rate.

Liability

Who owns the meter?

The meter belongs to Hydro‑Québec. However, the socket into which the meter is inserted is the customer’s responsibility.

Technology

What is the difference between the different generations of meters?

First generation – Electromechanical meters

The electromechanical meters installed by Hydro‑Québec for decades are the oldest and, over the years, they have been replaced by electronic models. They have a spinning disc and several dials. They aren’t being made anymore.

Reading manual

Second generation – Radiofrequency meters (458 MHz and 900 MHz)

Hydro‑Québec started installing these meters in the mid-1990s. With them, meter readers can obtain electricity use data by means of a special device without entering the customer’s premises.

Reading: remote by a meter reader

Third generation – Communicating meters

Combined with an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), communicating meters record electricity use data and transmit it remotely to Hydro‑Québec’s systems.

Reading: remote without a meter reader

Reading manual

Reading: remote by a meter reader

Reading: remote without a meter reader

Are the meters accurate?

Yes. The meters comply with the standards issued by competent regulatory bodies, including Measurement Canada, which sets the standards of precision for measuring instruments, such as meters, and oversees their application.

Hydro‑Québec is going to replace my meter soon, but it’s still working fine. Can I keep the one I already have?

No. Although the old meters are still reliable, Hydro‑Québec’s meters must be replaced before the end of their service life. Measurement Canada imposes strict rules on companies to guarantee the precision of the measurement systems they use. Hydro‑Québec is therefore required to install meters that will enable it to meet those standards, for the duration of the meters’ service life.

What data does the communicating meter send to Hydro‑Québec?

Hydro‑Québec only collects electricity use data for billing purposes. Customers’ personal information, such as name, address and telephone number, is not sent through the various components of the network.

Hydro‑Québec uses electricity use data from meters to improve service, especially during outages.

What is the power, in watts, of the communicating meters?

The power of communicating meters is 425 mW (milliwatts), or 0.425 W, which is equivalent to that of an LED Christmas light.

Can the meter cause interference with my home electronics?

Any device that operates on the 902-to-928–MHz band and uses digital transmission technologies must meet Industry Canada standard CNR-210, so it is designed to neither cause nor suffer from interference.

Some older devices, however, use the older analogue technology, which is being phased out. Although they are compliant with the abovementioned standard, they may, in rare circumstances, suffer from interference caused by other devices operating in the same frequency band.

What is the frequency band of the communicating meters?

The communicating meters emit radiofrequencies in the 902-to-928–MHz band, the same one used by baby monitors.

What is the certification process for meters and telecommunications equipment?

Certification testing for meters complies with the strictest international standards and falls into three categories: electromagnetic compatibility testing, climate testing and mechanical testing.

All telecommunications hardware undergoes thorough climate testing.

The meters are therefore compliant with Measurement Canada requirements and Hydro‑Québec certification standards.

Could communicating meters be adversely affected by winter temperatures?

No. Hydro‑Québec is required to comply with Measurement Canada standards respecting the quality of electricity meters that operate throughout the year. As part of the certification process, the communicating meters undergo a test involving sudden, extreme temperature changes. This test is used to confirm their ability to withstand Québec’s harsh winters.

What is the service life of a communicating meter?

Communicating meters have a service life of 15 years. As is the case with the old meters, whether electromechanical or electronic, their actual service life could be longer; sampling tests conducted in a few years should tell us. Given the changes made to Measurement Canada standards, the service life of a meter installed today could be as long as 30 years.

Meter-reading

NB: If a communicating meter is installed, you don’t need to read it, because the electricity-use data is automatically transmitted to Hydro‑Québec every day.

Why did I receive a meter-reading card?

Because the meter reader was unable to access the meter. This card shows you how to take a reading and send us the information. Your bill can be established according to your actual consumption.

How does Hydro‑Québec inform me of the dates to be respected if I want to send the meter-reading myself?

Once a year, you will receive a letter indicating the dates on which you can send us the meter-reading. This letter also tells you how to send us the information. By transmitting your meter-reading on the scheduled dates, your bill can reflect your actual consumption.

How soon do I have to submit my meter-reading?

You can submit your reading as soon as you receive the card or according to the dates stated in the letter you have received. It’s important to do so promptly, to make sure your next bill reflects your actual consumption.

What happens if I receive a meter-reading card or letter, but I forget to submit my meter-reading?

If we don’t receive your meter-reading, your next bill will be based on your estimated consumption. Your bill won’t be adjusted until the meter reader is able to access the meter, so that will be at least two months.

What’s the advantage of submitting my meter-reading online?

By submitting your meter-reading online at hydroquebec.com/meter_reading, you’ll prevent any delays in processing. Then your next bill will reflect the amount of electricity you’ve actually used.

Do I have to submit my meter-reading online?

No. You can give us your meter-reading by phone. Follow the instructions on the card left behind by the meter reader or in the meter-reading letter you receive once a year.

I have a dual energy rate (Rate DT). How can I take a reading from a non-communicating meter so that I can send in my actual consumption data to Hydro-Québec?

There are two 5-digit series that flash alternately on your meter.

The first 5-digit series follows the code 02 and the next 5-digit series follows the code 05.

Take these numbers down, including the zeros. For example, if your meter displays 00001, you must write 00001.

Submit both of these number series using our Web form or over the phone.