BC Fuel Info

Special Projects

The BCUC is responsible for collecting and publishing information about gasoline and diesel fuel activities in BC. In addition to gathering data directly from fuel retailers and wholesalers, we have initiated data collection projects in response to public requests for information about fuel prices in select BC cities.







Exploration Project #4 - Monitoring Fuel Pricing Behaviours

The BCUC monitored retail and wholesale price margins to examine whether fuel retailers in BC were taking advantage of market conditions resulting from the conflict in eastern Europe and unfairly increasing the price of fuel for consumers.

The BCUC selected retail stations from across the province to submit monthly statements for their fuel sales and margins for February and March 2021 and February and March 2022. This additional monitoring ensures pricing behaviours continue to reflect market conditions.

Findings

The BCUC’s findings show that retailers were not taking advantage of the market volatility to set higher prices and earn higher margins than would be expected under normal conditions. Instead, it cost fuel retailers more to purchase fuel from wholesalers, so the increased revenues for retailers were largely offset by those higher costs. To read the rest of the BCUC’s findings, please see page four of the September 2022 FPT Act newsletter.

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Exploration Project #3 - Retail Margins and Price Factors for Select Cities

The BCUC continued its data collection project to develop a greater understanding of wholesale prices in BC and how retail prices are set in select cities. We gathered costs and revenues data from wholesale fuel marketers who supply British Columbian retail stations and from select retail stations in BC cities where the highest retail margins were observed in Exploration Project #1.

This included some retail stations in Golden, Revelstoke, Powell River, Sicamous, Whistler and Squamish, as well as stations in nearby cities (for comparison purposes).

Data the BCUC Collected

Fuel wholesalers who supply fuel to retail stations in BC were required to submit data related to margins on reportable fuel sales, volumes, and transport costs for the past three years. Select retail stations were also required to submit further data related to margins on reportable fuel sales, volumes, and transport costs.

Initial Findings

The BCUC observed that sampled gas stations along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Highway 1, and in Powell River appeared to earn higher margins on each litre of gasoline sold than the sampled retail stations in Metro Vancouver and the BC average.

Expanding Data Collection

Given the significance of our initial findings, we are expanding the review to include all retail stations in the specified cities. A larger sample size will enable the BCUC to verify whether its observations are unique to the first group of selected stations or if they are consistent among all retailers in the selected cities.






Exploration Project #2 - Fuel Price Behaviours in 12 BC Cities

From June 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the BCUC collected information about gas and diesel prices in the following cities: Campbell River, Chetwynd, Chilliwack, Cranbrook, Duncan, Gibsons, Hope, Merritt, Penticton, Salmon Arm, Terrace, and Williams Lake.

Fuel price data for these cities was collected from Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Kalibrate Canada Inc. ((Kalibrate), formerly called Kent Group Ltd.) and displayed in the dashboards below to illustrate fuel price behaviours in the selected cities.

This map shows how fuel price averages differ from region to region. Areas with larger bubbles experience higher prices than those with smaller bubbles. Compare your city or a city of your choosing with cities across BC and Canada, to see what the price of gas or diesel is. Change years, fuel type, cities, and components to find out more.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

Components such as retail price, taxes, refining price and the price of crude oil all affect the average price of fuel in BC. Hover over the graph to see a definition of each component that makes up the cost of fuel. You can change cities, date, and fuel types for more information.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

Picking one price component at a time, a fuel type and a date range, this dashboard will show you the comparison of that component in the cities you have selected over a specific period of time.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

Pick one price component a fuel type, and a date range, to have the dashboard show a comparison of that component in the cities you have selected over a specific period of time.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

This dashboard compares the average fuel prices in different cities, by year and fuel type, but by one price component at a time.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.





Exploration Project #1 - Fuel Price Behaviours in 11 BC Cities

From June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020, the BCUC collected information about gas and diesel prices in Kamloops, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Port Alberni, Powell River, Revelstoke, Squamish, and Vernon. Data sets for Langley, Nanaimo and Metro Vancouver were also collected for comparative purposes.

The data was collected from OPIS and Kalibrate and is displayed in the dashboards below. BCUC Staff also analyzed the data to assess how fuel prices behaviours in these cities aligned with observations and comments received from the public.

Staff provided their observations in a Fuel Market Report, which also identified a number of areas that they believe warrant further exploration to enhance transparency and the retail customers’ understanding of the fuel market. Work is currently underway to address these areas of exploration. To see the list of areas that require further exploration, please visit page 16 of the Fuel Market Report.

This map shows how fuel price averages differ between cities. Areas with larger bubbles experience higher prices than those with smaller bubbles. Compare cities or change the date, fuel type, and/or components to find out more.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

The following charts compare daily fuel prices and its components for select cities to the city where the nearest fuel terminal is located. Gas station owners or retailers buy fuel at a wholesale price from gas companies at the terminal and then sell it to customers at the pump.

Dashboard 2A (right) compares Kelowna, Revelstoke, Vernon and West Kelowna to Kamloops.

Dashboard 2B (right) compares Port Alberni and Powell River to Nanaimo.

Dashboard 2C (right) compares Langley and Squamish to Vancouver.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

Components such as retail price, taxes, refining price and the price of crude oil all affect the average price of fuel in BC. Hover over the graph to see a definition of each component that makes up the cost of fuel. You can change cities, date, and fuel types for more information.

Retail Margin: The BC government has defined Retail Margin as, “the difference between the amount a retailer pays for gasoline and diesel and the amount the retailer charges its customers for gasoline and diesel, excluding taxes”.

Refining Margin: The BC government has defined Refining Margin as, “the difference between the amount the refiner pays for crude oil and other components, and the amount the refiner charges its customers in the wholesale market for gasoline and diesel”.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.

Pick one price component a fuel type, and a date range, to have the dashboard show a comparison of that component in the cities you have selected over a specific period of time.

Disclaimer: Retail fuel prices powered by OPIS. Any calculation of a retail margin or other modification or manipulation of the OPIS retail fuel prices was performed by the BCUC and may include data from other sources. The OPIS retail price is the last reported price each day. As of July 1, 2020, the retail price reflected in the dashboards is the average of multiple retail prices collected throughout each day.