Terasen Gas will raise residential natural gas rates in most parts of B.C. by about six percent, after receiving approval from the B.C. Utilities Commission.

The increases take effect on Apr. 1, and affect customers in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kootenays, and the Interior and North regions.

According to a press release from Terasen, the average customer's annual bill is expected to increase by between $49 and $62. A typical natural gas user pays between $800 and $1,000 per year in natural gas fees.

Terasen claims that the rate increase was necessary to respond to rising natural gas commodity prices, citing weather, supply and demand, and economic conditions.

Natural gas rates in Whistler, Fort Nelson and on Vancouver Island will not be affected by the rate increase.