MONTREAL -- Hydro-Quebec announced its planned annual indexation of electricity rates under a law adopted in 2019.

Residential and business rates are being increased by 1.3 per cent on Thursday, April 1.

The increase corresponds to the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Quebec between September 30, 2019 and last September 30, excluding certain non-essential products.

The provincially-run company announced the 1.3 per cent increase in electricity rates on Nov. 6.

Hydro-Quebec said that for residential customers, the monthly impact of the increase on the electricity bill is $0.96 per month for a 5 1/2-room dwelling, $1.78 per month for a small house of 111 square metres, $2.35 per month for a medium-sized house of 158 square metres and $2.89 per month for a large house of 207 square metres.

The increase for large industrial customers is set at 0.8 per cent.

The law adopted by the National Assembly in 2019 provided for a freeze in 2020 and an inflation increase between the times when the Régie de l'énergie will set the rates again, first in 2025 and then every five years thereafter.

In addition, the winter moratorium on service interruptions for non-payment, which was due to expire on March 31, has been extended for the time being until May 1 because of the pandemic.

In addition, Hydro-Quebec has put in place flexibility measures.

To avoid paying administration fees for unpaid bills, customers can enter into a payment agreement with customer services.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2021.