Chelan PUD is concerned that increasing numbers of homeowners and small businesses may be creating a significant safety risk by employing high-electric-use cryptocurrency mining computers without notice to the utility. The PUD is getting indications of widespread use of bitcoin mining machines across the county by customers knowingly or unknowingly violating District policies for serving these energy intense loads.
John Stoll, Customer Utilities managing director, said he understands that the financial reward can be tantalizing, but urged customers not to act without talking with PUD staff. The potential money isn’t worth the safety consequences – which can be severe – affecting not only the mining operator, but their neighbors and PUD line workers, too Stoll said. Unplanned high-electric usage taxes the electric infrastructure potentially leading to a serious fire risk.
Earlier this week, Stoll updated the Board of Commissioners on the unprecedented
increase in requests for large amounts of power to serve cryptocurrency and blockchain operations.
Stoll said PUD staff is developing options to tighten policies addressing situations where customers knowingly try to hide their bitcoin mining operation from the utility.
Customers considering a bitcoin mining operation, or those operating one who have not notified the PUD, must contact our Customer Service Department at (509) 661-8002.