CALGARY (CP) Homeowners in Ontario and Alberta will be seeing higher gas bills thanks to rate increases approved by provincial regulators Friday a trend occurring throughout Canada as consumers pay for the cold winter and low storage supplies. The Ontario Energy Board gave its approval for Enbridge, Canadas largest natural gas distributor, to raise its natural gas price by 25 per cent. The Calgary-based company (TSX:ENB) said the increase in its gas supply charge will amount to about $164 a year on a typical households bill. Increased demand due to the cold weather across North America and less drilling activity have contributed to an increase in natural gas prices, Enbridge Gas Distribution president Jim Schultz said in a release. Although prices have increased, natural gas continues to be less expensive than other options for home and water heating. Enbridge said that during the past five years, natural gas has been on average about 46 per cent cheaper than electricity and 20 per cent less expensive than oil for home and water heating. Effective Tuesday, Enbridges gas supply charge will increase to 26.6 cents per cubic metre from 21.25 cents. Customers who buy their gas from Enbridge, rather through another marketer, will also face a surcharge of 3.7 cents a cubic metre to compensate the utility for higher-than-expected gas costs after its previous price adjustment. Meanwhile, the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board specified its monthly rate for April, maintaining the nearly 25 per cent increase in gas prices that began in March. Gas consumers in northern Alberta will pay slightly less than they did last month but southern Albertans will pay more. The April price is a recovery of the undercollection that companies made last month, said Bob Curran, a spokesman for the Alberta regulator. Last month, prices were actually higher than they had forecast. Fridays announcements came a week after the British Columbia Utilities Commission approved a B.C. Gas application for a 16 per cent increase. All Canadian consumers are facing the same reality that natural gas supplies are at very low levels, said energy analyst Brian Prokop of Calgary-based Peters & Co. We had record drilling but were still seeing relatively flat natural gas.