Gas prices in B.C.’s Southern Interior lower than normal, but have they dropped enough?

Prices at two gas stations in Kelowna, B.C., on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Global News

It’s not business as usual in the Okanagan, with many companies closing their doors because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Also not normal: low gas prices throughout the Southern Interior.

The price drop is being attributed to falling oil prices and less demand, as residents aren’t driving as much as they stay home to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

But are today’s prices in B.C.’s Southern Interior as low as they could be?

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As of Saturday morning, according to GasBuddy, gas stations throughout the Central Okanagan were in lockstep at $1.099 a litre, as they have been since Tuesday.

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In the North Okanagan, prices ranged from $1.029 to $1.079.

In the South Okanagan, prices had a wider range.

In Penticton, gas was selling between $1.089 to $1.100 a litre, while it was $1.089 a litre in Oliver and $1.119 in Osoyoos.

In the Shuswap, it was $1.099 in Salmon Arm and Sicamous, though smaller, nearby communities had cheaper pricing, ranging from 94.9 cents a litre to 99.9 cents a litre.

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Heading east, gas was between $1.179 in Revelstoke, while a litre went for $1.099 in Grand Forks.

While these gas prices seem cheap to the $1.289 that Kelowna stations were recently charging, gas in Vancouver was priced between 99.9 cents and $1.109 a litre on Saturday. Most stations in Vancouver were around $1.10.

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Dan McTeague, the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, says the Okanagan mark-ups appear high.

“The replacement cost for gasoline sold today in the Okanagan is about 84 cents a litre,” McTeague told Global News. “So $1.099 is quite the retail margin.”

McTeauge said 12 cents is exceptional, but it appears area gas stations are getting 25 cents a litre.

Elsewhere in B.C.:

  • Cranbrook, $1.039 a litre
  • Chilliwack, 99.9 cents a litre
  • Kamloops, 95.9 cents a litre
  • Prince George, 85.9 cents a litre
  • Fort St. John, 99.9 cents a litre
  • Nanaimo, $1.129 a litre
  • Victoria, $1.179 a litre

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Elsewhere in Canada:

  • Calgary, from 69.9 cents to 74.9 cents a litre
  • Edmonton, from 66.9 cents to 78.9 cents a litre, though one station was listed at 59.0 cents a litre
  • Saskatoon, from 75.9 cents to 78.9 cents a litre
  • Winnipeg, from 73.9 cents to 79.7 cents a litre
  • Toronto, from 72.6 cents to 79.9 cents a litre
  • Montreal, from 91.8 cents to $1.007 a litre
  • Halifax, from 68.1 cents to 71.6 cents a litre

This week, Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy and former MP, said the drop in prices is a mixture of decline in demand due to COVID-19 and intricacies within provincial and federal governments.

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