WATCH: Hydro-Quebec admits to years of overbilling

Hydro-Quebec is confirming what the opposition CAQ suspected: it has been skimming its clients for years, billing more than it strictly needed to operate.  

The utility is trying to put a positive spin on the practice, saying the amounts overcharged were handed over to the provincial government and therefore went into paying for services to the population.  

The CAQ doesn't agree that's fair, however.  It has launched an online petition to demand refunds, saying Hydro has overbilled by $1.4 billion since 2008.  

Energy minister Pierre Arcand said now that the budget is balanced, Quebeckers will get the money back. Arcand said refunds will likely take the form of reductions in rates but didn't specify how or when.

That amounts to about $350 per customer.