Gas retailers earn small hike in margins
EUB says new margins, fees will be charged on Thursday
The Energy and Utilities Board is ordering increases to retail margins and the fees for pumping full service gasoline.
New Brunswick's energy regulator released the ruling on Tuesday, offering the gasoline industry and drivers one day's notice before the new prices come into effect.
The board has approved the maximum retail margin for gasoline to increase to 5.9 cents per litre up from five cents per litre.
And stations can now charge as much as three cents per litre to pump full service gasoline up from 2.5 cents per litre.
The board did not change any of the other fees and margins outlined in the province's regulated gas system.
The EUB will offer a full written report within 30 days, according to the statement issued on Tuesday.
New Brunswick's regulated gas pricing system sets new maximum pump prices each week on Thursday at 12:01 a.m.
Those prices are set based on the commodity's trading on the international market during the previous week. Once those prices are set, the gas system adds on taxes and margins.
Gas retailers can then choose to add a fuel distribution fee.
However, the EUB sets a maximum price for the petroleum products, gas stations are allowed to sell below the regulated price.
Hearing held in April
During theEUB's hearing in April over the gas margins, an expert hired by the regulator recommended gasoline retailers be allowed an increase of nearly a cent per litre.
Yassin Choukri, the public intervener in the hearing, said that proposal was too generous.
He said some of the calculations were not based on reliable data and any increase in the price margins should be lower.
Gasoline retailers, meanwhile, told the board many of the small businesses cannot afford to continue their businesses with such tight margins.
Alex Scholten, past chair of the Atlantic Convenience Stores Association and president of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association, told the board in April that less than a penny isn't enough for retailers who deserve to earn a "living wage."