January 24, 2008 - Press releases
Montréal, January 24, 2008 – Since January 1, 2008, Gaz Métro has been collecting a contribution from its customers to the Green Fund created by the Québec government. In doing so, Gaz Métro is applying a government decision whose application procedures were provisionally approved by the Régie de l'énergie du Québec on December 19, 2007. Gaz Métro has already remitted a first contribution of $9.5 million to the Québec government. The total amount the government has levied on natural gas customers is $38 million a year.
Gaz Métro understands the reaction this new contribution may cause among its customers, but believes it is important to always be transparent with its customers, which is why the bill specifically indicates the amount of the contribution.
You will recall that the Green Fund, which originates from the government’s desire to reduce Quebec’s environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is based on the user-pay principle. Gaz Métro would remind its customers that it has introduced some 20 energy efficiency programs and measures since 2000 to help them reduce their energy bills and hundreds of customers have benefited from them to date.
The Régie de l'énergie, mandated by the government to determine the application procedures for the Green Fund, has thus provisionally authorized Gaz Métro to reflect the new government tax in its rates. The hearing to arrive at a final decision in this regard is to be held at the end of February 2008. Representatives from civil society (consumer and environmental groups) have been recognized by the Régie and will put their point of view forward at those hearings.
It should be noted that, unlike other companies targeted by the Green Fund, Gaz Métro is a public natural gas distribution utility regulated by the Régie de l'énergie.
Source: Frédéric Krikorian