Québec electricity consumptionIn 2011, electricity demand totaled 170.0 TWh. Actual power demand at the 2011-2012 winter peak amounted to 35,481 MW. These figures reflect Quebecers’ use of electricity as their main energy source—in particular for space heating—and the heavy concentration of core industries such as metallurgy (aluminum smelters, for example).
Hydro-Québec must meet demand that is continually evolving as a result of a strong home building sector and changes in consumer habits (for instance, the increasing number of household appliances and electronic devices, some of which are energy guzzlers).
While energy efficiency alone cannot meet Québec’s growing needs, all efforts in this regard are encouraged.
Figures illustrating Québec’s particular consumption pattern:Electricity accounts for 40% of total energy consumption, making it the most consumed type of energy in Québec.
- It is estimated that 77% of Québec households use electricity as their main energy source for heating and that over 90% use it to heat water. Approximately 45% of the electricity demand at winter peak is for these two needs.
- In 2009, the industrial sector accounted for almost half of all the electricity consumed in Québec. The smelting and refining industry (including aluminum smelters) alone represented more than one-quarter of domestic power consumption.
Increased energy needs
The current target is 11TWh in energy savings by 2015, equivalent to the annual consumption of 407,000 Québec households heating with electricity.
The number of new residential connections is on the rise, going from an average of 22,000 per year between 1995 and 2001 to an average of 50,000 per year since 2003.
Increased capacity needs
Peak capacity needs should increase by 1.0% a year, on average, to reach 39,949 MW in winter 2019-2020.
Promoting the efficient, sustainable use of electricity
Already acknowledged as a leader in renewable energies, with water generating 98% of its output, Hydro-Québec has also positioned itself as a model for sustainable development. The company is committed to managing the province’s hydraulic resources responsibly. Being energy wise is essential for sound management of growing demand and for maintaining quality of life and preserving Québec’s natural heritage.
In 2003, Hydro-Québec introduced the Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP) to curb growth in electricity consumption, particularly in the residential sector, which was feeling the effects of a boom in the real estate market and increased electricity use for various purposes, including home heating. The energy efficiency initiatives generated new savings of 1,118 GWh in 2012, for a total of 7.6 TWh in cumulative savins since 2003.
Furthermore, given the popularity of its energy efficiency programs, the company has revised its targets upward several times since 2003.
Hydro-Québec encourages all its customers to use electricity wisely. The EEP, which focuses on energy conservation measures, comprises many programs for residential customers, commercial and institutional markets, small and medium-sized industrial customers and large-power customers. The company is also making a considerable effort to improve the energy efficiency of its own installations (offices, generating and transmission facilities, etc.). For example, it has achieved energy savings totaling 30 GWh in its administrative buildings since 2003. As well, 15 of Hydro-Québec’s administrative buildings, in addition to its head office, have received Go Green certification from BOMA Québec.