Power companies in New York can charge cryptocurrency companies in the state higher electricity rates, the New York State Public Service Commission ruled Thursday. “The ruling was needed to level the playing field and prevent local electricity prices for existing residential and business customers from skyrocketing due to the soaring local demand for electricity,” the commission said in a statement. The website Utility Dive reported on the ruling. The commission said cryptocurrency companies like Bitcoin have come to areas in the state that have low-cost electricity to use computers that “mine” digital currency. In turn, the companies use thousands of times more electricity than an average residential customer, which has led to higher costs for customers in small communities, the commission said.