Énergir's natural gas distribution activities in Québec are regulated by the Régie de l'énergie . The Régie de l'énergie was created in 1997 to regulate the entire Québec energy industry and now also oversees the natural gas, electricity, fuel oil and steam sectors.
Part of the role of the Régie de l'énergie is to regulate the transmission and distribution of electricity and the distribution of natural gas in Québec. In particular, it must:
- Ensure sufficient supply;
- Set the rates and conditions under which service is offered;
- Investigate consumer complaints regarding the application of those rates and conditions;
- Approve investment projects that exceed a given threshold.
Different organizations representing the interests of natural gas consumers, the environment, and the public are invited to participate in the Régie's process. Énergir firmly believes in this approach and acts in a spirit of collaboration and accountability conducive to constructive dialogue.
As a result, a true partnership has emerged with these groups to create a healthy regulatory climate envied by many regulated distributors. In particular, this partnership has facilitated innovation by establishing a regulatory framework to improve Énergir's performance while integrating important commercial, environmental and social concerns. The partnership has also established the Energy Efficiency Fund, financed by Énergir's productivity gains, which prioritizes subsidies for low-income residential customers as well as innovative community and social projects.
Énergir is regulated by the Régie de l’énergie, which annually sets the transportation, load-balancing and distribution rates, while the supply, CATS and compression rates are established on a monthly basis. Since November 1, 2015, the compression service costs have been integrated into the transportation service rates, due to the abolition of the former service. The Régie also oversees Énergir’s operating, network-development and natural gas distribution activities. As part of setting Énergir’s annual rates, the Régie establishes the authorized rate of return on deemed common equity. As well, Énergir’s supply plan is submitted to the Régie de l’énergie for approval on an annual basis. Énergir buys the natural gas required to supply its customers or receives natural gas from customers who have opted to secure their own supply of natural gas.
Intragaz operates the only two underground natural gas storage facilities in Québec in Énergir’s service area, and Énergir is also Intragaz’s only customer. Intragaz’s rates are approved by the Régie and established using a cost-of-service method.