Bitcoin mining operations in Chelan County are about to be charged more for the electricity they use.
County PUD Commissioners approved the move this week which will increase energy costs for Bitcoin mining by about 29 percent.
The businesses are being bumped up from the high-density load rate schedule to the newly created cryptocurrency rate schedule (also known as Rate 36), which Commissioner Garry Arseneault calls ground breaking.
“What we did as a commission, and what we did as a utility was industry leading, to create a new rate for this type of demand,” said Arseneault.
The bitcoin mining operations are being moved to a higher rate than all other customers because they consume much higher amounts of electricity.
Douglas County no longer allows any such new businesses to start up because bitcoin mining already consumes 25 percent of the county PUD’s available energy.
Chelan PUD Commissioners initially adopted the higher rate for crypto-currency customers back in 2018.
It was scheduled to go into effect in January, but was delayed until June. It will now take effect on June 1 after a PUD Commission vote on Monday.
Commissioners also authorized transition contracts for three eligible bitcoin miners because they already had substantial investment in their operation when rate 36 was adopted.
The basic and demand charges for cryptocurrency rate schedule customers are subject to the same 3% general rate increase as all customers. This increase was effective June 1.