The Public Utilities Board announced Thursday it has given the green light to an increase in primary gas rates for Centra Gas Manitoba.

In a press release, the PUB said natural gas bills for the average residential customer will rise by 2.9 per cent, or about $21 per year.

The PUB said the increase will take effect on August 1.

Officials said primary gas rates for customers with fixed-term price contracts with either Centra or a private broker won’t be affected.

The PUB said natural gas commodity prices are volatile and suggested people consider energy-efficient options, such as high-efficiency furnaces and improved insulation.