How Much Energy Does Bitcoin Mining Use?

The amount of power consumed for mining depends on how much you are paying per KW/h and the rate at which energy is being used. The only surefire way to calculate a miner’s efficiency is with a watt meter or kilowatt hour monitor.[5] To make this easier, use the following calculator:

Watts = Watts * (frequency in GHz / 1000000000)

Normal desktop computers can use as little as 300W for around 30 MH/s which means that if the block reward was 1 BTC then it would be affordable. This number will likely reduce significantly once ASIC miners become more widespread and ASICs start consuming less power.

In summary, miners have three options: they can mine at a steady rate so they get coins but also waste energy wasting money on their electricity bills using a normal computer; they can wait until the price of bitcoin goes up so that their electric costs go down or they can buy an expensive server capable of producing blocks faster than any GPU-based miner.