VANCOUVER, B.C. – The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued its Final Report with responses to questions posed by the Provincial Government and its key findings from its Inquiry into Gasoline and Diesel Prices in BC.
Following the inquiry process, some of the Panel’s key findings include;
- There is a significant unexplained difference of approximately 13 cents per litre in wholesale gasoline prices between Southern BC and its Pacific Northwest cost comparator;
- The wholesale market for gasoline in BC is not truly competitive with high market concentration levels, high barriers to entry, and their ability to influence prices. Retail market prices can also be controlled by five refiner-marketers;
- There is no evidence to suggest that there is collusion among the retail operators nor is there evidence of cartel behaviour; and
- Regulation could potentially reduce the wholesale and/or retail margins to what is earned in comparable jurisdictions and reduce price volatility. However, further investigation should be done to determine if such an approach would be of benefit to British Columbian consumers.
According to the BCUC, they established an independent, transparent and public inquiry process. The Panel considered evidence filed by 11 registered interveners including all major companies that have refining and retail business in BC.
The BCUC also received more than 70 letters of comment from members of the public and interested parties as well as three reports prepared by two independent consultants, shares the BCUC.
The process also included four days of Oral Workshops for the Panel to ask Interveners questions, and for Interveners to ask questions on the independent reports.
The Panel has recommended a one-month comment period on the Report to provide the Inquiry’s participants with an opportunity to submit additional evidence relevant to questions posed by the BC Government.
To review the Panel’s detailed findings, refer to the Executive Summary or Final Report; CLICK HERE
The BCUC shares a final copy of the report has been provided to the Honourable Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology.