Cryptocurrency miners in Russia will soon be hit by high electricity bills. This comes after the local utilities requested the authorities to set limits for the amount of subsidized electricity available to the population. The reform, in the form of a hiked bill, allows the regional authorities to cap the electrical energy supplied at special rates.
The Ministry of Energy and The Federal Antimonopoly Service says the new policy will help them curb inappropriate energy consumption. It will not increase expenses for the consumers. If the consumption exceeds the said thresholds, private customers will have to pay more. The majority of the regions, except Crimea, are yet to adopt the new schemes. In Crimea, cheap electricity has already been restricted to 150 kWh per month.
The Russian government regulates electricity tariffs for households. Minister of Energy Nikolay Shulginov told TASS agency in October that cryptocurrency miners should pay more for electricity. He believes it will maintain the reliability of the electricity grid.
Igor Kobzev, Irkutsk Governor, said electricity consumption in the region has grown by 159% since 2020. He attributed this to the influx of crypto miners from China and the rise of illegal mining. Moreover, a spokesman for BitRiver revealed that miners were using electricity for households. This electricity is subsidized by the regional government for business purposes.
Meanwhile, Siberia has been drawing crypto miners in masses because of its cheap hydro-energy supply. Igor Runets, the general manager of Bitriver, said Siberia is very much considered by the crypto market for its cheap cost of electricity. Runets says they want to consume 100% green electricity and believe this will also attract other miners.
Hydropower falls in the category of renewable energy source. Crypto mining has attracted backlash because environmentalists believe it requires huge amounts of electricity to run the rigs.