January 20, 2016 8:44 pm
Updated: January 20, 2016 8:59 pm

Low fuel prices have mixed benefits for Calgary businesses

WATCH ABOVE: It’s a small consolation during tough economic times: gas prices are hovering around $.75 a litre in Calgary. Several businesses will benefit from that little pick-me-up at the pump right now. But as Sarah Offin reports, it's not driving down their bottom line.

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Calgary’s Meals on Wheels has a long way to travel.

“Last year alone we were close to 500,000 kilometres that were driven in order to deliver to all of our clients,” said Janice Curtis, the executive director of the Meals on Wheels charity.

The meals are delivered to up to 2,000 people in need each day across our sprawling city. That means the drop in fuel prices has a big impact on their bottom line.

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“I would say that on a yearly basis we well exceed $100,000 as far as gas is concerned. So we’re envisioning this year that that’s going to be cut down probably a third.”

But the drop in the Canadian dollar and rising price of groceries means the charity is also spending more on acquiring the food they so lovingly deliver.

“We’re seeing the impact in vegetables and fruit and everything.”

READ MORE: Calgary gas prices drop below 70 cents per litre 

So, how about airfare? Planes use a huge amount of fuel to power travel across oceans. But, once again, the Canadian dollar seems to be offsetting savings for airlines.

WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer said, “our revenue is in Canadian dollars while our major expenses (fuel, aircraft, vacation packages, etc.) are in U.S. dollars. In other words, Canadian airlines reap only a partial benefit from falling fuel prices whereas U.S. airlines realize the full benefit.”

The average gas price in Calgary Wednesday was 75 cents a litre. The cheapest can be found for 66.9 cents a litre.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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