WINNIPEG — Manitobans will be paying significantly more for natural gas starting next month.
The Public Utilities Board has approved a rate hike for Crown-owned Centra Gas, which will take effect Nov. 1 and be reviewed again for February.
The board is allowing an increase in the primary gas rate to 19 cents a cubic metre from 13, and says the impact on an annual bill will be 17 per cent — or $124 a year — for the average residential customer.
The change does not affect people who have fixed-price contracts with Centra Gas or third parties.
The regulator says this is the biggest increase in many years and Centra Gas should continue to work with customers who might struggle to pay their bills.
The board says the rate hike reflects rising market prices for natural gas, driven in part by the impact of Hurricane Ida.
"Natural gas storage levels remain below average, in part due to lower production that was further affected after Hurricane Ida moved through the Gulf of Mexico's oil and gas producing region," the board wrote in its decision Tuesday.
"As well, there is strong demand for liquefied natural gas exports to both Asia and Europe. These market conditions are pushing gas market prices upward across North America and globally."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021
The Canadian Press