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Largest electricity supplier in Siberia sues 85 illegal miners

Russian energy company Irkutskenergosbyt is demanding 73.3 million rubles ($1 million) from the owners of illegal mining farms, located in private houses. The company has already received nine court decisions for 18.7 million rubles.


Since the beginning of 2021, Irkutskenergosbyt filed 85 lawsuits against miners who use electricity tariffs as individual households. The number of detected cases of “gray mining” exceeded 1,000.

Irkutskenergosbyt requires recalculation of the amount that miners paid for electricity at commercial rates. Now they pay according to the tariffs set for the population.

In October 2021, the Governor of the Irkutsk Region Igor Kobzev complained to the Russian government about underground miners. He warned that they would cause power outages in the region.

Igor Kobzev’s letter to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak says that in 2021, according to preliminary estimates, energy consumption by the population in the Irkutsk Region might exceed the level of 2020 by 159%. The governor associates more than a twofold increase in energy consumption with underground cryptocurrency mining. Kobzev writes about “an avalanche-like increase in energy consumption by underground cryptocurrency miners that use electricity at tariffs set for households.” He attributes the growth of mining to the mining ban imposed in China and “the relocation of a significant amount of equipment to the Irkutsk region.”

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