Another jump in natural gas prices is coming to Manitobans, who will soon be paying about $88 more each year.

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) has approved an application by Centra Gas Manitoba to increase the current rate by 4.6 per cent, effective May 1.

The new rate, which will be reviewed again in August, will amount to $38 a year on average. But that comes just three months after the PUB approved a rate increase of $50 (6.4 per cent) in February.

Customers with fixed-term, fixed-price contracts with Centra or a private broker will not be affected.

"Natural gas commodity prices can be volatile. Customers should consider options for reducing their energy consumption including, most importantly, high-efficiency gas-fired furnaces and improved insulation," states a news release from the PUB.

"Manitoba Hydro offers energy efficiency programs, including special programs for lower-income customers. In particular, the lower-income furnace replacement program is available to eligible customers."

A copy of the order for the rate increase, which contains additional information, can be viewed on the PUB's website. A link to the site is 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.