Hydro-Quebec made $571 million in profit during the first six months of the year. That’s $102 million, or 22 per cent, more than the profit during the same period last year.

The soaring profits were the result of an unusually cold winter, which caused consumers to turn up their thermostats extra-high. Hydro also made off like a bandit on short-term sales of electricity outside the province, mostly to the U.S. Short-term sales south of the border are quickly becoming a major market for Hydro’s surplus power.

On the down side, Hydro also had to fork out $1.3 billion in “financial charges”—interest payments on its debt.