Quebec ranked 2nd in Canada’s first Provincial Energy Efficiency Scorecard, earning 48 points out of 100.

Energy Efficiency Programs See All

Energy efficiency programs secure energy savings through various strategies such as audits, retrofits, training for building tradespeople, “people-centred” or behavioural efficiency strategies, and customized industrial programs.

Energy Efficiency Program Administration

Hydro-Québec has operated electricity DSM programs since the early 1990s. The provincial energy board (Régie de l’énergie) approves efficiency initiatives as a component of rate cases and electricity supply plans. In October 2019, Hydro-Quebec announced the creation of a new subsidiary named Hilo, focused on smart energy management.

Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro) is the major natural gas distributor and natural gas energy efficiency administrator. Gazifère is a natural gas provider in Gatineau that also administers energy efficiency programs, under Gazifère Green branding.

A government energy efficiency agency has existed in Quêbec since the 1970s, originally named the “Bureau des économies d’énergie” (1977) and remamed “l’agence de l’efficacité énergetique” in 1996. In 2008, a “quote part” fuel charge on all fuel distributors was introduced to fund this agency. In 2011, the office was renamed the “Bureau de l’efficacité et l’innovation énergétiques” (BEIE) (Energy Efficiency and Innovation Office) and placed within the Ministry of Natural Resources. In December 2016, the BEIE was closed and a new state corporation with an executive director and board of directors was created, called Transition Énergétique Québec (TEQ). This was originally envisioned in the 2030 energy plan. TEQ is funded through the “quote part”, cap and trade revenues dispersed from the Green Fund, and an Energy Transition Fund supported by petroleum royalties. TEQ has developed a five year master plan on energy transition, innovation, and energy efficiency. In June 2019, the government announced that TEQ would be brought under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, as part of a restructuring of the governance of the provincial Green Fund. The “Master Plan” will be maintained, but adopted to consider new goals on electrification and climate change.

Bill 44 tabled in October 2019 proposes to change the name of the Green Fund to the “Electrification and Climate Change Fund”, abolishing the Green Fund management council and transferring responsibilities to the Minister of the Environment and the fight against climate change, abolishing TEQ and placing the “master plan” under the responsibility of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Energy Efficiency Targets

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to create a 2018-2023 master plan that improves energy efficiency at least 1% per year, on average. The Province’s 2030 Energy Plan calls for a 2030 objective exists to improve energy efficiency 15% from a 2013 base year.

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to reduce by at least 5% the total consumption of petroleum products from a 2013 base year.

The TEQ 2018-2023 Master Plan estimates an improvement in energy efficiency by about 1.2% per year, on average. This is an economy-wide target, which includes indirect changes from technological improvements and structural changes as well as the impact of initiatives outside of Québec. TEQ states that the initiatives within the plan are expected to improve efficiency by 0.6% per year (9.9 petajoules), which is higher than the 0.4% or 7.3 petajoules achieved from 2012 to 2017.

The plan aims to reduce petroleum use by 12% in 2023 compared to 2013 levels. This is more than the government’s directive to reduce consumption by 5% by 2023 as a first step towards the 2030 Energy Plan’s target of a 40% reduction in 2030.

The 2018-2023 Master Plan is a major policy tool of the 2030 Energy Plan and the targets also contribute to the 2013-2020 action plan on climate change.

Electricity utility savings
Hydro-Quebec Distribution plans (1, 2) to save 469 GWh per year from programs over 2019-2023, which translates into annual incremental savings of abut 0.3% per year.

Natural gas utility savings
Énergir 2019-2023 plan targets savings equivalent to about 0.7% of sales, rising to 0.8% in 2022 and 2023.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Energy Efficiency as a Resource

The government directive 537-2017 directs Transition énergétique Québec to create a 2018-2023 master plan that prioritizes energy efficiency as a the first resource. This is a guiding principle, rather than a clear direction to maximize all available energy efficiency as an alternative to supply.

Regulated energy distributors submit “supply plans” (Plan d’approvisionnement) that describe how to meet Québec market demands (art. 72 de la Loi sur la Régie de l'énergie). These plans include energy efficiency and demand side measures.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Efficiency Potential Study and Energy Planning

The techno-economic potential study on the reduction of petroleum product consumption in the Quebec transport secto was completed in November 2013.

Hydro Quebec's most recent electricity supply plan was completed in November 2019, and includes forecasts for energy savings and power management.  An updated efficiency potential study (to 2029) will be submitted to the regulator in 2021. 

The last natural gas potential study was completed in 2017.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Cost-Effectiveness Testing

Principal test: Total Resource Cost test and participant test, applied at program level. 

Secondary use of rate impact test.

Natural Gas
Principal test: Total Resource cost test, applied at a mix of program and measure levels. One program might involve a single measure (e.g. thermostats), and some program categorizations are high level. 

The participant test and rate impact measure is also reported.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Evaluation, Measurement and Verification

Utility programs
Each program or program category is evaluated by an independent firm every 3-4 years.

Elecricity and natural gas efficiency reports are submitted to the Régie de l’énergie, and after an examination the Régie produces a report. Evaluation reports are available under "Suivis des résultats d'évaluation du PGEÉ” (1, 2). 

Transition energetique Quebec
 TEQ programs are evaluated by an external firm according to an established schedule:. Review of EcoPerformance and Forest Biomass programs initiated in 2019-2020;  review of the  Roulez vert started in 2020-2021.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Program Innovation

Hydro-Québec’s DSM plan includes specific initiatives for R&D and pilot projects, particularly through its Laboratoire des technologies de l’énergie (LTE), part of its Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ), as well as its Démonstration technologique et commerciale (DTEC) program. Budgets for these activities are in the range of $8 million per year for 2016-2018.

Énergir supports innovation in natural gas efficiency by developing and demonstrating new technologies, systems, and processes.

TEQ administers the Technoclimat program, which offers financial assistance to businesses and organizations that undertake projects to demonstrate or test pre-commercial technologies in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, bioenergy, or GHG reduction.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Support for low-income energy efficiency programs

There are no policies to support low-income programming, such as minimum budgets, adjustments to cost-effectiveness tests, or specific funds.

Econologis is a program administered by TEQ in partnership with Hydro-Québec.

Hydro-Québec offers “Rénovation énergétique, offree aux ménages à faibles revenue”. Hydro-Québec signs agreements with social and community organizations, such as social and co-op housing providers and municipalities.

Énergir offers supplementary financial assistance to low-income households, under program title “Soutine aux ménages à faible revenue”.

Last reviewed: October 2020

Enabling Policies See All

Enabling policies refer to policies, regulations, and other activities that build supportive infrastructure and policy frameworks to advance energy efficiency in a province. 

Support for Financing

Green Bonds
Quebec has undertaken five green bond issues since its inaugural issue in February 2017, totalling $2.8 billion. Projects have primarily focused on public transit, and targeted to institutional investors. Épargne Placements Québec (an organization that issues savings and retirement products from the Quebec government) issues fixed-rate green bonds, intended for the retail market.

Last reviewed: November 2020

Research and Development

The Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) includes “energy use” as a core area of expertise. The Energy Technology Laboratory (LTE) in Shawinigan focused on technological innovation with respect to energy efficiency.

The Centre d'excellence en efficacité énergétique provides funding support for energy efficiency RD&D in the transportation sector.
The National Gas Technologies Centre undertakes research on energy efficiency.

There are a number of other research initiatives that Hydro-Québec supports, such as the Industrial Research Chair in Optimized Operation and Energy Efficiency: Towards High Performance Buildings, at Concordia University.

Between 2016 and 2019, energy efficiency research comprised 13.6% of all energy-related research supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) at universities and colleges in Québec, the highest share among all provinces

Last reviewed: November 2020

Lead by example

The TEQ Master Plan calls for the development of energy reduction targets for different government departments, and the adoption of a “framework law” for government lead by example initiatives by 2020/21. The TEQ Master Plan calls for embedding energy transition experts in government departments, funding best practice examples, and enabling municipalities 

Specific targets for energy consumption (GJ/m2), for 2022-23 and 2029-30 exist for major public sector real estate holdings.

The 2030 Energy Policy calls for applying energy efficiency measures on at least 5% of the total surface of public buildings, each year, from 2016-2030, reducing building energy consumption by 15% in public buildings from a 2012 base year.

The TEQ Master Plan calls for mandatory recommissioning of public building mechanical systems and public disclosure of public building energy data.

The TEQ Master Plan calls for converting all building fossil fuel use for heat to renewable energy. No public buildings should be principally heated by fuel oil by 2023, except in rare circumstances.

The 2013-2020 Action Plan on climate change calls for obtaining an energy performance in new buildings 20% higher than the 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings, and also set objectives related to eliminating fuel oil use in public buildings.[2]

Vehicle Fleets
The Politique d’acquisition gouvernementale pour les véhicules légers (government policy on the acquisition of light vehicles), in place since Jan 2014, requires new vehicle purchases or existing vehicle replacements to be electric or hybrid electric.

The TEQ Master Plan (p. 159) creates targets to reduce energy consumption in light-duty vehicies by 30% in 2022-23 and 50% in 2029-30, from a 2012-13 base year, and to add 1000 additional electric vehicles by 2022-23.

The TEQ Master Plan calls for improved fleet management practices, and to collect fuel consumption data for all light and heavy vehicles, adoption of home-to-work travel plans, and to limit the travel of public building users.

The 2030 Energy Policy calls for reducing energy consumption (L/100 km) by 50% for light-duty vehicles, from a 2012 base year, and to add 1000 electric or hybrid vehicles to the fleet by 2020. The latter targets is also outlined in the transport electrification action plan (2015-2020).

Last reviewed: August 2019

Grid Modernization

Advanced metering
Hydro-Québec reported that over 4 million communicating meters had been installed in the province, or 99.4% of all meters requiring replacement, an increase from 3.9 million in 2019. AMI devices provide real time usage updates to customers and allow for dynamic pricing to be in place. Hilo Energie is a new subsidiary of Hydro-Québec that focuses on getting smart home energy devices into its customers’ hands so they can understand their energy usage and reduce it as needed.

Conservation voltage reduction
Hydro-Quebec conducted the ‘CATVAR’ (1, 2) project between 2007 and 2016 to install and demonstrate equipment to manage distribution grid voltage and reactive power. The project was cancelled in 2016 due to planned energy surpluses and less than expected energy savings (though the deployed equipment will be maintained on the network until end-of-life, and thus will continue to deliver some energy savings).

Rate design
Hydro-Québec has two dynamic pricing schemes for residential and business customers. These rates provide options to receive a credit for using less electricity during critical peak times, and an option to face higher electricity prices during critical peak events and lower prices otherwise (rate flex D and G). These rates have been gradually rolled out between 2019 and 2020 and have been restricted to 20,000 customers to ensure optimal customer support.

Inclining block rates for “domestic” electricity customer classes with higher energy charge above a threshold level of consumption. Interruptible rates are available for large or medium power customers.

Non-wires Alternatives
Hydro-Québec currently has a planning process that includes NWA, but is working on updating it to integrate the most promising alternative solutions for the future. Four pilot projects at substations are currently underway.

Last reviewed: November 2020

Carbon Pricing

Quebec implemented a cap and trade program in January 2013, which conducts joint auctions of carbon allowances with California, starting in January 2014. Some allowances are freely allocated to specific industries. The program covered industrial and electricity sectors initially, and added fossil fuel distributors in 2015. The emissions cap is 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030.

All revenues are directed towards climate change action through the Green Fund, which will be called the the “Electrification and Climate Change Fund” under the proposed Bill 44 tabled in October 2019 . Based on the 2013-2020 review roughly 20% of funds finance building energy efficiency and 66% of funds finance transportation energy efficiency.

Last reviewed: November 2020

Buildings See All

Buildings are a significant and often neglected component of Canada’s infrastructure, and high-performance buildings are important for our quality of life, physical and mental health, and economic productivity

Building Codes

Housing and Small Buildings
The last update to energy efficiency in the Quebec Construction code for small residential buildings was in 2012, by adding part 11 to Chapter 1. These energy efficiency requirements are not the same as section 9.36 on energy efficiency in the model national building code. The regulatory provisions are largely inspired by the first version of the Novoclimat program in Quebec.

The transition énergétique Quebec 2018-2023 Master Plan plans to boost the energy efficiency requirements for residential buildings. By 2021-22, the plan aims to improve the existing 2012 regulations governing small and multi-unit residential buildings.

Large Buildings
Quebec has adopted and implemented the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings as of June 27, 2020. The regulations make some adjustments to the model code, exceeding it in some areas (heat recovery in pools, grocery stores, and arenas), falling short of it in others (minimum thermal resistance of walls and roofs). 

Stretch or Step Codes
No stretch or step code has been published or adopted.

The transition énergétique Quebec 2018-2023 Master Plan states that Québec will publish a “voluntary standard” called The Québec Energy Code for Buildings in 2021/22 that will exceed the minimum energy code. This voluntary code will then be adopted for residential and commercial/institutional buildings in 2023/28.

Net-zero energy ready commitment
The TEQ Master Plan notes that any adoption of a net zero energy ready building code in Québec will consider the province’s context as a “green electricity” consumer.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Building Code Compliance

L’organisme Garantie Résidentielle (GCR) conducts annual inspections of code compliance in a sample of residential construction projects, which could include energy efficiency requirements.

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec established an interpretation committee to deal with the residential sector’s energy efficiency requirements.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Home Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory home energy rating and disclosure: No
Home energy labelling voluntary or pilot program: No 

The TEQ Master Plan includes a road map to eventually implement a compulsory energy efficiency rating system for new buildings and upon the resale of single-family homes. The roadmap calls for forming a working group on mandatory energy ratings in 2018/19, launching a pilot project in at least one city in 2021/22, and mandatory ratings by 2023/28.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Building Energy Rating and Disclosure

Mandatory large building energy rating and disclosure: No
Voluntary building benchmarking and transparency program: Yes

The Building Energy Challenge (Défi-Énergie en immobilier) is a program for commercial and institutional buildings to voluntarily disclose energy-use data to competitors. It is a 4-year competition, launched in May 2018. The program is coordinated by BOMA Québec and supported by the City of Montreal, Transition énergétique Québec, Énergir and Hydro-Québec. Reported data is not made public, but the next iteration of the program plans to require public disclosure.

The Transition énergétique Québec calls for making the disclosure of commercial and institutional building use data mandatory in the 2023/28 timeframe. It also foresees making government buildings energy data disclosure mandatory by 2023.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Appliance and Equipment Market Transformation
Space Heating Windows Water Heating
Research and development Québec Hydro has conducted research into power management, large capacity heat pumps, and geothermal systems. - -
Pilots and demonstrations - - -
Information and awareness - Hydro Québec has promoted ENERGY STAR® windows and patio doors since 2007, and developed awareness campaigns for both customers and industry. -
Technology and installation training Hydro-Québec provides training for HILO technicians on space heating, but not specifically heat pumps. Hydro-Québec and the Association de vitrerie et fenestration du Québec launched a specialized training course in 2019 for window installers, leading to Fenestration Installation Technician (FIT) certification. -
Upstream or downstream incentives TEQ offers downstream incentives for ENERGY STAR® rated heat pumps through its Rénoclimat and Chauffez vert programs. Hydro-Québec provides training and awareness, and TEQ offers a downstream incentive for ENERGY STAR® certified windows and doors. Hydro Québec provides downstream incentives for three-element water heaters.
Regulation, codes and standards Hydro-Québec participated in the development of the CSA performance standard for split-system and single-package central air conditioners and heat pumps. Hydro Québec participated on the standards development committees, and the government is planning to amend energy efficiency standards to apply to devices or equipment that do not directly consume energy. -

Last reviewed: August 2020

Appliance and Equipment Standards

Québec regulates appliances and equipment under The Act respecting energy efficiency and energy conservation standards for certain electrical and hydrocarbon-fuelled appliances (chapter N-1.01).

Regulation OC 434-2017, adopted on May 3, 2017 and in force August 15, 2017 strengthened regulations, and added new products not previously regulated, by harmonizing with federal standards. The changes also regulated products not currently regulated by the federal government (e.g. specific television). This regulation also requires manufacturers to keep a registry of testing and standards adherence. The last modernization of Québec’s regulations was in 1995.

Regulation OC 1394-2018 adopted Dec 12, 2018, and in force December 27, 2018 automatically updates Québec’s regulations to harmonize with federal regulations.

In December 2019, Quebec ratified the Regulatory Conciliation Agreement on energy efficiency standards for household appliances negotiated within the framework of the CEFTA. The process for the adoption of the agreement by the government is underway. In addition, government policy, regulatory and administrative relief favors the harmonization of MEPS of household appliances.

The TEQ Master Plan calls for federal harmonization as well as extending the scope of regulations with an energy efficiency or GHG reduction potential in Québec noting areas such as doors and windows without federal regulations.

Regulated Products not covered by federal regulations
Quebec has regulated thermostats not covered by federal regulations.

Regulations that exceed federal standards
Products include

  • thermostats
  • standard lamps

Last reviewed: August 2020

Efficiency Requirements for Government Supported Housing

The 2017-2021 Strategic Plan of La Société d’habitation du Québec notes improvements energy efficiency to contribute to government priorities.

Last reviewed: August 2019

Transportation See All

Policies tracked in the transporation area reflect the potential energy savings of closer integration of private transportation with buildings and electricity grids. 

Zero-Emission Vehicles Mandate

Quebec Zero-Emission Vehicle Standard was adopted under the Act to increase the number of zero-emission motor vehicles in Québec in order to reduce greenhouse gas and other pollutant emissions on October 26, 2016, and implemented via regulations A-33.02, r.1 and A-33.02 r. 2. The standard came into force on January 11, 2018. The ZEV mandate requires that manufacturers earn ZEV credits equal to 3.5% of light-duty vehicle sales and leases by 2018 and 22% by 2025. Vehicles that are reconditioned by automakers and registered in Québec are eligible for credits.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Electric Vehicle Charging Program

The Electric Circuit launched in March 2012. Under the program Hydro-Quebec coordinates an international call for tenders and testing to provide EV charging infrastructure and related services to partners such as municipalities, institutions, and businesses to install charging infrastructure. Partners can choose standard or fast-charging stations. EV drivers can become members to charge from all stations in the network. 

The Québec government offers a financial assistance, up to a maximum of $600, for home station charging; 50% rebates up to $5,000 are available for workplace or multi-unit residential charging. The Transportez Vert program also offers financial assistance for the installation of DC fast charging to promote the electrification of fleets.

Last reviewed: August 2020

EV and PHEV Financial Incentives

Incentives of up to $8,000 are available for the purchase of a new electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles with a retail price less than $60,000, a reduced amount from 2019, when the retail price was required to be less than $75,000. For plug-in hybrids the incentive is calculated according to the electric battery capacity. Incentives are also available for low-speed electric vehicles and electric motorcycles.

The rebate of up to $4,000 for purchase of used electric vehicle that was offered as a pilot is now an official part of the Roulez Vert program. New in May 2020, the Transportez Vert program offers up to $10,000 for commercial electric vans and trucks, and since February 2020, has also offered up to $100,000 for electric buses.

Last reviewed: August 2020

“EV Ready” Building Code

Québec changed its electricity code in 2018 to include an obligation to install basic wiring for EV charging in single dwellings with garages, carports, or parking areas.

Municipalities have the power to include EV/PHEVs in their bylaws, and two municipalities have done so for high-rise residential buildings – the City of Sainte-Rose and the City of Laval.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Industry See All

In recognition that the industrial sector is highly varied across Canada, this database tracks policies that are broadly applicable to all industrial subsectors and provinces.

Energy Management

Hydro Québec offers the Electric Power Management Systems Program (Programme Systèmes de gestion de l’énergie électrique (SGÉÉ)), which involves consultation with experts from the Hydro Québec, and funding for different stages of the process, such as developing an EMIS.

Énegir has the Energy Management System (Système de gestion de l’énergie). The funding from this program can be combined with funding from NRCan.

Both Énegir and Hydro Québec’s programs are similar in that they provide funding to allow companies to deploy an energy management system for natural gas and electricity.

Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) offers the Ecoperformance – Energy Management program, which again provides funding for different stages of an EnMS, such as conducting an energy audit, hiring an energy manager, and providing training on ISO-50001. The TEQ Master Plan includes an objective to provide additional financial incentives to program participants that have ISO-50001 Energy Management System certification, leading towards making the certification mandatory for all large enterprises that participate in incentive programs between 2023 and 2028.

In 2018, the Bureau de normalisation du Québec was accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to certify organizations in the implementation of ISO 50001.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Co-generation / Combined Heat and Power

Though there are no dedicated support programs for cogeneration / combined heat and power in Quebec, the provincial government directed Hydro-Québec to purchase electricity generated by biomass cogeneration in the pulp and paper industry, resulting in 21 contracts with a peak capacity of 338 MW by 2018.

Last reviewed: August 2019

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