Nova Scotia

N.S. regulator expected to drop gas prices at midnight

Nova Scotia's gas price regulator won't officially say if the early gas price change will be an increase or decrease, but the commodity market saw refined gasoline prices drop this week.

Utility and Review Board to use 'interrupter' mechanism to reflect price changes on N.Y. commodity market

Gas prices in Nova Scotia are expected to drop tonight, two days before the provincial regulator usually sets weekly prices. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Gas prices in Nova Scotia are expected to take a plunge at midnight tonight.

The price change comes two days early, the result of the provincial gas regulator enacting the "interrupter" mechanism.

The usual weekly pricing occurs on Thursday nights.

But a dramatic change in prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange, which has seen gas and diesel prices tumble over the past few days, has led the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board to set new prices to reflect the change.

According to the interrupter clause in gas price regulations, "the magnitude of the change has to be at least six to eight cents in range and has to be sustained for more than one day," said review board spokesperson Paul Allen.

Diesel prices will also be affected, Allen said.

New prices take effect at midnight

He would not say what consumers can expect at the pumps after midnight tonight.

As of May 31, the price of a litre of gas in Nova Scotia ranged between 119.3 cents and 121.5 cents.

Oil prices globally plunged to a three-month low last week, and gasoline and diesel prices have dropped as well.

Allen said the new gas price will remain in effect until Thursday at least, when the review board will set prices for the following week, as it usually does.

The interrupter mechanism was last enacted Sept. 2, 2015, when diesel went up 6.5 cents per litre. On Aug. 26, 2015, the regulator also used the interrupter to lower the price of gasoline 5.1 cents.