The Public Utilities Board has approved an application by Centra Gas Manitoba to increase rates effective Feb. 1.

The increase, which is approximately 6.4 per cent, translates to about $50 more per year on the average homeowner’s bill.

Natural gas commodity prices can be volatile and the rates will be reviewed again on May 1.

To reduce costs, people should look into reducing energy consumption by installing high-efficiency gas-fired furnaces and improving their home’s insulation, the PUB suggested in a news release announcing the rate increase.

Rates for customers with fixed-price contracts, with either Centra or a private broker, are not affected by the rate increase.

A copy of the PUB’s decision can be viewed on the board’s website by clicking the link at the left of this page.

Centra Gas Manitoba is a division of Manitoba Hydro. The PUB regulates rates charged by Manitoba Hydro (electrical utility), Manitoba Public Insurance (auto insurance), some gas or propane utilities (Centra Gas, Stittco, Swan Valley Gas Corp.) and all water and sewer utilities outside Winnipeg.