The share of oil in the heating market continues to shrink, but the faithful households this energy source can still expect this year a decrease in their bill.
While the heating season begins, oil is sold on average 77.5 cents per liter in Quebec. At this time last year, the liter of fuel oil worth around 95 cents. For the heating season, November to March, oil cost 93.3 cents per liter last year, an average price should be lower this year because the price of crude oil fell.
The share of oil heated dwellings has been decreasing in recent years and fell below 10%.
Natural gas in abundance
Homes heated with natural gas this year still remain those that cost the least to be heated. The abundance of natural gas in North America keeps the price of the resource still very low.
This year, Gaz Métro customers pay less for natural gas, and the bill will be lower than last year because Gaz Métro asked the Régie a 2.5% reduction in its distribution rates.
Some 10% of Quebec households use natural gas for heating.
The last two winters were hard for customers of Hydro-Quebec, which had to absorb two rate increases and two seasons of intense cold. Invoices that have resulted have hurt the family budget.
The electricity bill for a single family house of 160 square meters has increased from $ 1397 to $ 2013-1535 in 2015, an increase of almost 10% in two years, according to figures compiled by Hydro-Québec.
This winter, electricity is 2.9% higher than last winter, but unless the temperature drops even lower than in the last two years, the heating bill event of a less severe winter may be less painful for Quebecers, almost 75% use electricity to heat their homes.
This is an anomaly in the northeast of the continent, where only 7% of households heat with electricity.
Among the three main energy sources used by Quebecers for heating, electricity has become the most expensive.
According to Hydro-Québec, one must also consider the costs of acquisition and maintenance of heating systems to natural gas and oil, which are driving up the total bill.
“For example, a natural gas furnace can cost around $ 10,000 and the maintenance costs for a gas system, of about $ 215 annually, mainly make up the difference between gas and electricity,” argues Marc-Antoine Pouliot, spokesman for the corporation.