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Environmental Advocates Condemn ERCOT’s Controversial Policy: Paying Cryptocurrency Miners to Cease Operations Amidst High Power Demand

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The State Power Grid Operator Should Pay Residential Customers for Conservation, Says Environment Texas


The executive director of the group Environment Texas believes the state power grid operator should pay residential customers for conservation instead of offering energy credits to certain mining companies to stop operations.

Criticism of ERCOT’s Strategy

  • ERCOT, the state’s power grid operator, deploys strategies to lower electricity use during peak demand periods.
  • Luke Metzger, the executive director of Environment Texas, criticizes the practice of offering energy credits to mining companies.
  • Metzger finds it absurd that mining companies are being paid to stop using electricity while residential customers are not compensated for reducing their electricity use.

Riot Platforms’ Profits and Reaction

  • Riot Platforms, a mining company based in Rockdale, made $31.7 million from the practice of receiving energy credits.
  • Metzger expresses outrage at the amount of money being paid to the company.

ERCOT Should Pay Residential Customers

  • Metzger suggests that ERCOT should compensate residential customers instead of mining companies.
  • He proposes a program that rewards people for conserving electricity during peak demand periods.
  • Metzger believes such programs could save more than 4000 megawatts of electricity and improve grid reliability.

Concerns about the Mining Industry

  • Metzger is concerned about the increasing use of electricity by the mining industry, particularly for Bitcoin production.
  • He warns that this could put a strain on the power grid, with the potential for an additional 33 gigawatts of electricity usage in the coming years.

Failed Legislation and Future Implications

  • Metzger mentions Senate Bill 1751, which would have limited the mining industry’s participation in demand response programs, but it did not pass.
  • He emphasizes the need to address the rise of Bitcoin and its impact on the electric grid.


Environment Texas calls for a shift in strategy, urging ERCOT to prioritize residential customers and incentivize conservation efforts. The organization raises concerns about the strain on the power grid caused by the mining industry’s increasing electricity usage. With failed legislation, the issue remains unresolved, highlighting the need for further action to ensure grid reliability and fair compensation for energy conservation.


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