The power company in charge of Grant County Public Utility District (PUD), Washington, has reportedly increased the tariffs of cryptocurrency miners in the city.
Many crypto miners who had earlier moved to the PUD due to its low electricity cost, were taken by surprise in the early hours of Friday when the power company in charge of the district released a statement of its planned increase in price.
The targets of the increase are mainly cryptocurrency miners – especially Bitcoin miners and other evolving firms that consume much electricity for daily operation.
According to the district’s commissioner, Tom Flint, the reason for the move is to protect PUD from the risk of suffering future blackouts.
“Your industry is unregulated and high-risk. This is the best way to ensure our ratepayers are not impacted,” the commissioner told some crypto miners in a meeting.
Flint is of the opinion that crypto miners cannot be compared to owners of data centers because the latter have good financial records, they own properties that can be quickly investigated, and most importantly they pay tax for whatever profit they make in the city.
The report also stated that since last year, out of the 2000 megawatts available for consumption in the city, only 25 percent were consumed by residents while approximately 75 percent was consumed by crypto miners who contributed heavily to the increased price of virtual currencies during the end of 2017.
New Electricity Bill Payable By Next Year
The new electricity tariff dubbed, Rate 17, will see heavy users of electricity especially crypto miners pay high electricity bill which will be spread across three years. Effective from 2019, there will be an increase of 15%, while 2020 and 2021 will increase by 35% and 50% respectively.
A large evolving-industry customer like a crypto-miner (formerly Rate 7) whose billing demand is 2 megawatts and a load factor of 92.5% would increase from 2.6 cents per kWh to 7.9 cents per KWh with an anticipated monthly average of 5 MW at the same load factor over the three-year phase. However, the planned three-year price increase still differs according to a customer’s power consumption within a period.
While it is true that cryptocurrency miners consume a significant amount of power when mining cryptocurrencies, banking system consumes even more power.
Although the need to protect cities from future blackouts is pertinent, there are still ways to go about it rather than hit miners with high tariffs like the PUD has done.
Fortunately for miners, some states in the U.S like New York have made suitable electricity plan for crypto miners that many would consider as fair.