In 2018, Hydro-Québec (HQ) implemented an electricity consumption management program for its medium-power commercial customers. This program is called Demand Response and is designed to optimize the management of electricity demand during periods of high consumption, in winter, on weekdays (Monday to Friday). Through various programs, HQ is asking its customers to voluntarily reduce their consumption during periods of extreme cold. In this way, HQ avoids purchasing energy at high prices on the North American market. It is important to mention that HQ provides financial compensation to its commercial customers based on consumption reduction efforts.
What it implies for Bromont, montagne d’expériences
First, it is important to transmit the following information to you:
- Commercial electricity pricing has 2 components: power (kW) and energy (kWh).
- The power (kW) demanded by a customer implies pricing in the form of a monthly fee on an annual basis, regardless of whether or not there is energy consumption.
- The consumption (kWh) is calculated according to the actual use of energy.
Unlike most businesses, a ski resort that consumes energy 5 months of the year has to deal with the payment of a monthly rent for the 12 months of the year. In addition, during the winter period, the rent charged by HQ is increased by a surcharge. This equation greatly affects a seasonal winter business such as a ski resort.
Importance of the Demand response for a ski resort
The financial impact of this program is considerable for us and allows the station to reinvest in the performance and quality of its facilities. The full operation of a ski resort during a period of high demand for electricity consumption causes a considerable increase in our energy costs and, above all, demonstrates a gesture that goes against our collective efforts in terms of responsible energy management.
An essential contribution and collaboration
In order to minimize the impact of this program on our operations, we have put in place a series of measures to ensure the continuity of our services. For example, we are reducing the scope of our operations by staggering the opening hours of certain mountainsides while maintaining responsible operations on our main slope served by our hybrid chairlift. As soon as the information and the request is transmitted by HQ, we inform customers to advise them of the situation.
By slightly modifying our consumption and skiing habits, we together succeed in contributing to a better management of our energy resources.