Our electricity isn’t sold any cheaper on external markets. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and those sales account for a big part of our profits!
You can’t compare the price you see on your bill (which covers power generation, transmission and distribution costs) with the wholesale prices offered to Québec’s neighbors (which includes only generating costs and a portion of transmission costs).
When large quantities of high-voltage electricity are delivered to a single location, the cost is lower than when the same quantity of low-voltage electricity is delivered to tens of thousands of homes.
It’s the same as for most consumer products: there is a difference between wholesale and retail prices due to economies of scale.
The electricity we export is transmitted to US wholesale markets, generally over our high-voltage grid. In the U.S., this power is purchased by local distributors, who deliver it in turn to their American customers. It stands to reason that these distributors resell our power to their customers at a higher price.
By way of comparison, consumers in Boston paid an average of 30.03¢/kWh for 1,000 kWh/month in 2015, while Québec consumers paid only 7.19¢/kWh—four times less!