Washington’s Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) intends to pass down the cost of increased electricity demand to cryptocurrency miners in its proposed electricity pricing structure.
The New Structure Explained
Speaking about the proposed pricing regime, Lindsey Mohns the Customer Utilities Rate Adviser explains, “What this new rate structure (Schedule 36) does is brings into it a market consideration on the energy price because we will have to purchase power on the market to serve the variable load associated with cryptocurrency.”
Protecting Locals Over Miners
The new pricing structure is aimed at protecting the interest of local residents by passing down all costs associated with increased electricity demand brought about by cryptocurrency mining activities to the miners themselves.
According to Said Kimberlee Craig, the Public Information Officer at Chelan PUD, through the proposed pricing structure, the utility will manage to protect local residents from inflated electricity bills while at the same time ensuring that the facility remains economically viable to investors.
The new regime proposes upfront capital charges that will account for the units consumed by crypto miners. The upfront charges will be used to cover the high cost of infrastructural investment in the system.
At the November 7 meeting when the DUP announced the proposed pricing regime, members of the cryptocurrency community openly expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposed structure.
Impending Miner Exodus
Present during the meeting was Denton Meier, the co-owner of Firefly Technologies and Silicon Oechard- a company specializing in crypto mining. The business owner asserted that the new regime will frustrate miners and might ultimately lead to the departure of crypto miners from the region.
Meier believes that an amicable solution can be arrived at when members of the crypto mining community are involved in the decision making process. He fears that when the new system is adopted and miners move their operations to friendlier regions, Chelan’s residents will miss out on job opportunities like programming, finance and general jobs associated with the crypto industry.
It is not the first time residents of a region are complaining about cryptocurrency mining’s intensive power demands. Some cities have opted to suspend mining operations due to their extravagant electricity demands; Ephrata in Washington recently banned new crypto operators for a year.