Gas prices to drop by 10 cents per litre

The regulated price of gasoline in New Brunswick dropped nearly 10 cents a litre overnight, but hundreds of service stations have yet to make the change.

Theregulated price of gasoline inNew Brunswick dropped nearly 10 cents a litre overnight, but hundreds of service stations have yet to make the change.

The Public Utilities Board set the new price for a litre of self-serve gas at $1.096 per litre of unleaded gasoline. Stations can also charge up to two cents more for delivery costs. The price had been $1.199 per litre.

PUB spokesman David Young says a dramatic drop in wholesale prices forced the board to lower the pump price.

"The board has reviewed the price information from New York Harbour [Tuesday]nightand realized that the price reached the eight cent trigger which requires the board to change the price as of midnight that night, which was last night," he said.

The province's regulatory agency sets the maximum price of home heating fuel, gasoline and diesel every second Thursday.

It averages the New York Harbour price with taxes and other margins to come up with the maximum price.

Last week,within hours of setting the two-week gas price, the New York average dropped dramatically. It was too late for the province to recalculate then, but Tuesday night, the board had no choice but to slash prices.

Many stations contacted on Wednesdaymorning hadn't dropped their price. Young says fuel companies were notified of the change late Tuesday night and may not have been able to inform their stations.

Kevin McCann —the manager of Wilson Fuels, which owns80 service stations across New Brunswick — says he hasn't received notification about the price change.

"Obviously we have not been informed, because it's not just us that has not reacted, it's everybody in the province at this point in time," he said. "And that leads me to believe there is a real communication issue here and as we've been saying since Day1 this regulation is flawed in its development and now in its execution."

McCannsays without regulation, prices would have dropped last week when the New York Harbour price of oil dropped dramatically.

He says price regulation hurts drivers because the PUB is too slow to react to wholesale price changes. He sayspump prices will dropatWilson's stationsas soon as he receivesnotice from the PUB.

In Nova Scotia, theregulatory agency acted much sooner, dropping prices overnight Mondayfrom $1.21a litre to $1.12a litre.