Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have exploded in value over the past decade. This price increase has led many cryptocurrency hobbyist to start mining their own currency for fun and profit at home. As one might expect, the growing number of miners is pushing our power grids to levels we have never seen before. Though mining at home is becoming more popular for crypto hobbyists, managing the power bill can get pretty tricky. There is already a huge demand for GPUs and mining equipment that is affecting all miner profits.
Cutting costs through the use of solar panels makes a lot of sense and also helps our environment. Mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum can be profitable, but hobbyist need to understand how APS and SRP charge for power and how solar panels, batteries, and load controllers can off-set those charges.
Safety First – Miners Use of a Lot of Energy
Depending on the size of your miner setup, you might not be able to simply plug it into the wall and mine. Larger mining rigs can trip breakers or even cause fires if not managed properly. Some miners require a specific power setup (like 240v instead of 120v). If you plan on mining at your home, you must make sure you have the proper power configuration. You can buy a wattage power meter that plugs into your miner to tell you exactly how much power a mining rig is using. Understand that if your mining rig is causing a heavy load, there are risks associated unless you have taken precautions. Be smart and be safe!
Evaluate Your Current Home Electricity Use
How much power does your home use now? It’s okay if you don’t know. Most people have no idea! But, you need to know if you plan to offset your energy usage with solar panels. Sustain Solar Power can help you evaluate what you use now and how the electrical companies are charging you.
Did you know that APS and SRP have various plans that might suit you and your situation better? By evaluating how much energy you use and when you use the energy, you might be able to save money by just switching plans. We come to your home, evaluate your unique situation, and help you understand what is costing money and how to save! Once we know what your energy usage is, we can help you identify how much solar energy you will require to offset your usage.
The Basics of Solar Savings
The average home in Arizona pays about $0.12 per KWH. Installing solar power on your home reduces your cost to about $0.09 per KWH. So, you’re saving roughly 25% on energy costs if you install solar on your home. But, solar energy and how the electric companies treat solar energy producers is a lot more complicated than the price difference per KWH. Sustain Solar Power understands all of these nuances and can help you understand, too! Take a look at our Solar Power Education to learn more and then contact us when you’re ready to get a free evaluation of your home’s potential.
Using Solar to Offset Cryptocurrency Miner Use
There are two major costs with mining cryptocurrency — the rig components and electricity. Unfortunately, lowering the cost of the hardware is not what we do. But, lower the cost of the electricity is where Sustain Solar Power can help! For cryptocurrency miners, it makes perfect sense to want to offset home and miner power costs with solar energy. After all, we are in Arizona — The Valley of the Sun!
The power of the sun can offset your energy usage with solar panels, but the offset is only worth the cost of the panels if you understand how the electric company charges you for energy use. In other words, offsetting your miner’s power use is not as easy as simply installing solar panels. You must manage your entire home’s power use efficiently.
Understand APS and SRP Rates, Demand Charges, and On-Peak Charges
The most important thing to understand about offsetting your miner power use with solar is how the electric companies charge for demand and on-peak usage. The power company actually doesn’t care how much power you use, but they do care when you use the power and how much you use at one time. All Arizona electric companies have demand charges and those charges are what cause your bill to spike. Using your oven, dryer, and air conditioner all at the same time can increase your electricity costs by 500% because the demand (how much you are using at one time) is high!
Also, a high load during “peak hours” can also increase your bill significantly. To efficiently offset your power bill, you need to manage how and when you use electricity and understand that your mining rigs (going 24/7) are increasing your power load baseline. Therefore, since your baseline is already high, any time you use another device that also uses a lot of power there is a likelihood you will move into the next “tier” of electricity costs. The more energy you use, the higher the “tier” of billing you get from APS and SRP.
Tip: Batteries Might Be Necessary
In order to keep the load and peak time usage down, a great solution is to use solar panels in conjunction with batteries. The batteries charge during the day and any time your power load is high or you are in “peak hour”, you can discharge the batteries to make sure your demand stays low and you bill doesn’t skyrocket.
Solar Power Can Help
Sustain Solar Power understands the complicated demand and on-peak rates that APS and SRP use to deter homeowners from using too much power. We can evaluate your current power usage and potential power usage and build a system that keeps your devices running and your electricity bill affordable. Though it might be tricky, we can crunch the numbers with you and show you what system is best for your unique situation. Contact us and we will be happy to help!