Grant County public utility district (Grant PUD), a giant utility in Washington, US, is facing a lawsuit together with its commissioners by nine cryptocurrency companies. According to the lawsuit filed against the utility and its commissioners, the two are accused of inappropriate behavior at the time of creating and approving a new rate that focused at increasing the cost of the utility for cryptocurrency miners.

The information on nine companies filing a lawsuit against the Grant PUD and its commissioners has been revealed by the Grant PUD. A meeting was held on 8th January 2019, in which the commissioners consented that Grand PUD would bear the legal cost in defending the commissioners Larry Schaapman, Dale Walker, and Tom Flint, as well as former commissioners Bob Bernd and  Terry Brewer, and 10 employees of PUD. 

All of them are co-defendants in the lawsuit filed against the PUD in the US District Court of Eastern Washington by the reported nine crypto companies who have accused the utility and its commissioners for acting inappropriately in setting and approving the new rates that would ultimately raise utility cost for them as well as the companies in the evolving industry.

Grant PUD serves more than 50,510 clients across the county, according to the website of the utility. The information about the lawsuit was revealed by the utility on 10th January 2019, according to Ifiberone publication. The utility reportedly said that it is fully aware of the lawsuit and is likely to take an action against it in federal court by the end of January.

Higher Rates for Crypto Companies

Beginning from 1st April 2019, the cryptocurrency miners would be required to pay the first of the three years, graduated to a new, above-cost utility rate aimed at securing Grant PUD from the threat as well as sustain below-cost rates for prime customers, as explained by the utility.

The new Rate 17 for evolving industries was unanimously approved by the commissioners of Grant PUD last year on 28th August as per the statement by the utility. As of now, the customers of Grant PUD mostly belong to the evolving-industry profile and are miners of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, as PUD statement.

The utility further informed that Rate 17 customers will get a 15% rise next years, a 35% rise in 2020, and a 50% rise in 2021 when the rates are most likely to fully apply. Grant PUD has revealed that it agreed to hike the rates after it received new service inquiries for over 2,000 megawatts of power ever since summer 2017. The inquire accounts for more than three times the utility requires for powering farms, industry, Grant County homes, and industry, as well as nearly 75% of those requests, belonged to crypto miners.