Consumers will soon be able to track the cost of wholesale gas in BC

The cost of wholesale gas

The provincial government is adding a new layer of transparency to the price consumers pay at the pumps.

Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Bruce Ralston announced Friday morning additional regulations that will allow consumers to track how prices are set at the wholesale level.

This is in addition to information now available that breaks down the costs gas stations currently pay for a litre of gas at the pumps.

The website, and all data collected, is done through the BC Utilities Commission.

"These new rules will impose requirements for companies that import, purchase, store and distribute gasoline and diesel products into the wholesale fuel market in British Columbia. It will apply to fuel wholesalers who purchase and supply gasoline and diesel fuel intended for gas stations that sell gasoline to B.C. drivers," said Ralston.

"Companies will have to begin providing regular submissions to the BCUC with detailed information on their fuel imports, bulk sales, wholesale prices and storage capacity."

Ralson says the first set of submissions from companies will be provided to the BCUC in October, and should be available for the public to scrutinize in November.

Through previous investigations by the BCUC, Ralston says four companies control about 90 per cent of the wholesale gas and diesel market in Southern B.C.

He anticipates these new sets of requirements will keep companies "accountable for unfair markups and cost increases that cannot be explained."

"What we expect is scrutiny, the public access to the way in which prices are set, will moderate and have an affect on prices," said Ralston.

"I certainly think when a company feels that people are looking over your shoulder, they are much more likely to be cautious in advancing unexplained spurts in prices that they were not obliged to explain in the past."

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