The B.C. Government has unveiled new mandatory reporting requirements that are aimed at improving transparency when it comes to gasoline prices across the province.
The reporting requirements are for the wholesale market using the Fuel Price Transparency Act (FPTA) – an act established in November 2019.
The new wholesale market regulations require companies that import, purchase, store and distribute gasoline and diesel products to make regular reports to the British Columbia Utilities Commission, according to the government.
“For years, British Columbians have felt like they are getting gouged when they fill up at the pump. That’s why our government asked our independent energy watchdog to do an investigation into gas prices,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. “The British Columbia Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) inquiry found a lack of competition and significant markups in the B.C. market, including a 13 cent per-litre premium being charged to drivers that industry was unable to explain. This results in British Columbians paying an extra $490 million per year.”
The government said that companies will need to start submitting regular reports starting for the month of October.
It will be mandatory that these reports include detailed information on fuel imports, storage capacity, bulk sales and wholesale prices, adds the Province.
“With the new rules we are bringing in today, oil and gas companies in the wholesale market will have to start making regular, mandatory reports to BCUC. We know that from the BCUC’s investigation into gas prices that four companies control around 90% of the wholesale market in southern B.C.,” Ralston said. “By pulling back the curtain, the action we are taking today will help ensure industry is held publicly accountable for unexplained markups and prices increases.”
Earlier this year in March, the BCUC was named as the independent administrator of the FPTA and given the power to collect and publish data on fuel pricing. The government hopes that by publishing data on pricing, it would promote competition in the market.
Public information on the factors that influence gas prices can be found here on the website launched by the BCUC
The government also outlined on Friday that regulations are also being developed for the other parts of the fuel supply chain, including the retail market.