Gas price explanations coming from IRAC

P.E.I.'s Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission says it will start offering more detailed explanations when petroleum product prices change, and when they don't.

Letter from IRAC prompted by gas price complaint in legislature

P.E.I.'s Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission says it will start offering more detailed explanations when petroleum product prices change, and when they don't.

Timing of the scheduled price changes account for some of the confusion.- Moe Rodgerson, IRAC

IRAC regulates the price of gasoline, diesel, heating oil and propane in the province, setting prices at the beginning and in the middle of the month. Last week, government backbencher Buck Watts stood up in Province House and said constituents were calling him about the price of gas, saying it was higher than both the Maritime and Canadian averages.

The gas price was unchanged in the mid-month adjustment, while it had recently gone down in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Watts asked why the gas price did not go down.

The minister responsible for IRAC, Alan McIsaac, said IRAC could be more clear in explaining its decisions.

In a letter to McIsaac Monday, IRAC chair Moe Rodgerson said the commission will start doing that.

Rodgerson said comparing weekly changes in other parts of the Maritimes to the semi-monthly changes on P.E.I. can be difficult.

"Timing of the scheduled price changes account for some of the confusion in making inter-provincial price comparisons," he wrote.

"During the most recent period while wholesale price dropped somewhat in the first week of data collection, over the last five days of the period, wholesale prices escalated."

Rodgerson said Islanders can continue to expect to pay higher prices for gas, because of the province's smaller population and higher taxes.

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