Chelan County PUD Looking to Increase Energy Rate for Bitcoin Mining by 7 Cents Per KWH
On August 20, 2018, cryptocurrency miners in the Washington state held another round of public comment with the electricity providers to discuss the proposed power rate increment. However, nothing good came out of the meeting as the Public Utility District (PUD) officials have postponed the hearing.
Bitcoin Miners Lament
According to a iFiberone report, the miners in the region gathered themselves together on Monday to protest against the impending electricity price increment which they claimed could kick them out of business. Per sources close to the matter, the PUD is looking to hammer a seven to ten-cent increase per kilowatt hour on bitcoin mining done within the county.
Nick Martini, one of the miners, noted that the proposed increment would make electricity for mining activities more expensive in Washington than in California, a state with one of the highest power rates.
“I’ve made the move and taken this risk to end up actually paying more than I would with a for-profit utility in one of the most expensive markets in the country. So I’m hoping to avoid that scenario,” he declared.
PUD Manager, Steve Wright, noted that the price hike is a bit exaggerated, adding that the board and the entire staff will carefully study the energy needs of residential cryptocurrency miners.
Meanwhile, the PUD commissioners have postponed the hearing to September 17, 2018, and have also made it clear that the moratorium placed on the application for new cryptocurrency miners still stands.
One of the miners, Becky Peters complained that if the likely 7 to 10 increment is implemented, she might be forced out of business. “I’m coming out to these meetings each week wondering if I’m going to be able to keep the lights on for another day, because these rates would put me right out of business,” she said.
Other Residents Criticize Miners
Residents like Jeanne Poirier who do not engage in crypto mining have condemned the activity in the area, arguing that bitcoin mining is of no economic importance to the community.
“It’s not like Alcoa, providing a lot of jobs, a lot of solar powers, a lot of projects back to the community. It’s individuals trying to make money,” Poirier argued.
Since March 2018, the PUD has stopped processing applications for new mining operations.
As previously reported by BTCManager Chelan county placed security measures to curb the agitations of illegal miners and high-density electricity applicants in the region.