(WHTM) — UGI Utilities announced its purchased gas cost rates will increase on Dec. 1.

According to the company, the average residential heating customer’s bill will rise by 3.1%, increasing from $119.54 per month to $123.28 per month.

“UGI recognizes the concern customers have regarding rising energy prices, especially during the heating season,” Chris Brown, UGI Vice President and General Manager of Rates and Supply, said. “Unfortunately, commodity costs for nearly all fuels have continued to increase, including the wholesale cost of natural gas.”

“Despite this increase, natural gas remains a very economical energy choice backed by local, reliable shale gas supplies. I encourage customers who are on a limited or fixed income to reach out to UGI to see if they qualify for any one of our payment assistance programs,” Brown added.

Brown also stated that natural gas prices in Pennsylvania continue to remain lower in other parts of the country because of local Marcellus Shale production.

By law, utilities are required to pass the cost of the natural gas they purchase directly through to customers without any markup.