The cost to heat your home with natural gas is going up by 40 per cent starting next week.

The Ontario Energy Board has approved a request from Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. to increase its rates effective April 1.

The rate increase will cost the average home about $400 more a year.

Currently, the average Enbridge customer normally pays approximately $1,000 a year for natural gas.

However, according to Enbridge, the hike has only been approved on an interim basis.

Enbridge said homeowners are not expected to see the full effect of the increase until next winter.

It said the harsh winter has depleted its stockpile and is forecasting higher prices for natural gas next year.

The natural gas company had applied for a rate hike earlier in March.

With files from The Canadian Press