Multiple bitcoin miners and those involved in the bitcoin industry asked Grant PUD to reconsider increasing their evolving industry rate during their commissioner meeting on Dec. 13.
Rate 17 is a rate specifically made for evolving industries such as crypto mining.
If accepted, the first rate increase would become effective after Feb. 1, and then another increase after April 1.
For retail customers using more than 200 KW, the rate will increase from $750 to $1,000 per month, with a demand charge increased from $19 to $29.13 per kW.
In the commission packet, Grant PUD states that there has been increasing pressure from international, federal, and local agencies to better regulate crypto mining, stating that the industry brings “substantial regulatory risk” to their residential customers.
CEO of Cathedra Bitcoin, AJ Scalia, said that these energy rate increases could bankrupt crypto miners, due to a significant downturn in bitcoin value back in March.
“The proposed fiscal 17 electricity rate represents a 70% increase to our current rate at a time when mining revenues are lower than at any point in bitcoins history,” Scalia said. “As CEO, I’m concerned about what this could mean for existing and future operations.”
Grant PUD Commissioner Larry Schaapman said that even with the rate increases, crypto miners still have the lowest energy rates compared to other industries.
“To put you into this rate class is because when you’re in seven, you’re underneath cost to serve, and that’s just not right,” Schaapman said. “We’ve got residential folks that are paying 5.6 cents. We’ve got irrigators that are already paying 4.8 [cents], and I’m looking at this, you tell me why a customer wouldn’t be livid with me that you guys are getting 2.6 [cents].”
Grant PUD tabled this topic for their next commission meeting on Jan. 10.