03 September 2013
Paying at the pump: gas prices in BC
Written by Melaina
It’s a year-round topic on the minds of many British Columbians: gas prices. Buckle up, because in this post you’re going to learn more about why prices fluctuate, where to go for information and more!
While Consumer Protection BC is not responsible for regulating gas prices in the province, we get a number of calls each year about this topic. We are fortunate that we can offer consumers information and referrals to other organizations when consumers are faced with issues that fall outside of our legislation – such as gas pricing. Here are some of the top questions we receive about gas pricing in BC:
Who’s responsible for setting gas prices?
It’s important to know the federal government does not control the price or distribution of gas. According to the Competition Bureau, gas prices are regulated at a provincial level: gas retailers compete with one another in the marketplace to increase sales.
Why are gas prices what they are?
If you have questions about gas prices, you may consider getting in touch with the local station or the station’s head office. The website for the Canadian Centre for Energy Information can also provide industry explanations of gas pricing, or check out the website for the Canadian Fuels Association for further helpful information.
Why do gas prices fluctuate?
According to the Competition Bureau, prices fluctuate as a result of retailer competition, with stations competing against one another to match prices. Changes in the cost of components like crude oil can also cause price changes.
Where can I go for more information?
The Competition Bureau has a lot of information about gas pricing on their website, including an explanation about what sorts of gas pricing complaints they examine (anti-competitive behaviour).
Published in Tips.
Melaina works in communications and marketing for Consumer Protection BC. She is our regular blogger and is always looking for topics of interest to BC consumers. Feel free to ask a question related to any of our posts by posting a comment!