Excessive Electricity Consumption under Investigation
Power utilities in various parts of Russia have noted excessive use of energy particularly in residential areas.
In order to find the cause of the excessive use of electricity, relevant power utilities have carried out inspections and investigations. Their inquiries revealed that crypto miners are behind the excessive use of electricity in such areas.
For stopping miners from carrying out their mining operations in residential areas, the authorities therein have been identifying such miners.
Residential Buildings Are Excessively Used For Mining Operations
It has been identified by the energy authorities that several residential buildings are being used by miners for mining operations. As a result of mining activities in residential buildings, substation grids are experiencing excessive loads.
Such activities have been noted by the Russian Energy Ministry and the Deputy Minister of the relevant ministry discussed the issue with the local press.
Russian Energy Ministry Acknowledges the Issue
Deputy Minister, Pavel Snikkars, informed Izvestia newspaper that the identification of miners utilizing energy meant for residents has been completed.
He further informed that concerned authorities have been granted warrants of search, seizure, and arrest.
Although crypto mining is legal in Russia, the Deputy Energy Minister termed such miners as ‘illegal miners’.
This indicates that there is still a lot of resistance towards the adoption of crypto mining from within the government. Still, the country is dealing with the matter as it is looking at the bigger picture.
Snikkars categorically stated that though mining is legal yet its regulations have not yet been implemented. He clarified that until regulations are not implemented, such activities are not only illegal but also prohibited.
Snikkars further warned such miners that they shall be tried before a Court of Law by concerned power utilities.
He suggested that power utilities can prove through positive evidence in Courts that miners were illegally utilizing energy meant for households.
Court Filings and Litigation Battles
Some lawyers told the newspaper that they are in the knowledge that more than 10 court cases have been filed against illegal miners.
They further informed that many cases have been resolved through an out-of-court settlement. Under the settlement arrangements, miners have agreed to compensate power suppliers for the losses.
As per local media reports, in some cases, consent decrees have been passed by the Court.
In the decrees, Courts have directed miners to compensate the differential in tariff by paying electricity consumption charges at higher rates.
This means that miners shall be paid either at commercial rates or at a rate higher than the commercial.
Electricity Inspector’s Powers
Usually, when there is excessive electricity consumption, the energy authorities in Russia authorize an inspection by an energy inspector.
If the energy inspector finds somebody stealing or illegally using the electricity, then the inspector issues the person concerned a challan.
The challan comes with an invoice which is prepared on the spot after checking the electricity meter and determining the difference.
As standard practice, when the inspector issues a challan then that means the culprit shall be paying commercial rates against the invoice. In case of failure in payment, a case is then filed before the appropriate court.
Mining Capital of Russia
Irkutsk region in Russia is currently the most electricity-enriched Russian region. This is perhaps the reason why this region is also known in the country as ‘the mining capital of Russia’.
It is this region that initially highlighted the issue of excessive consumption and identified crypto miners’ involvement in excessive consumption.
On the other hand, mining is one of the household activities in various regions of Russia. Residents of such areas are well-aware of mining profits and hence have turned their basements and garages into small mining farms.
This is also one of the issues because of which several regions in Russia have pointed out the same issue of excessive consumption.