Nearly three-quarters of Quebec homes are heated with electricity, and managing peak demand during Canada’s cold winters is a major challenge for Hydro-Québec. It was necessary to show that temperature normals will continue to increase and that climate is no longer static and to link this with demand and sales forecasts. Temperature normals have increased over the past few decades, and observed data from weather stations no longer provide the best statistical basis for demand forecasts. As a result, Hydro-Québec has developed methods to improve demand forecasts by incorporating climate change trends.
In Quebec, many homes and businesses are heated and cooled by electricity, and outdoor temperatures are a major factor behind electricity demand. Hydro-Québec’s Distribution division, in collaboration with Ouranos, has carried out an in-depth study of the impact of temperature on electricity demand and implemented ways to incorporate recent temperature changes into the forecast of average and peak demand. It has been determined that demand forecasting can be improved by incorporating temperature trends. In addition, adapting the demand forecast is simple and efficient. Finally, long-term collaboration with climate experts ensures that information is continuously updated and improves the level of confidence in climate model data.