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New website launched to better track the price of gas in B.C.

Metro Vancouver gas prices dipped below $1 per litre on Thursday amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Metro Vancouver gas prices dipped below $1 per litre on Thursday amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Global News

The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) has launched a new website allowing British Columbians to better track the price of gas.

GasPricesBC.ca is the first step in the government’s promise to provide the public with more information about how gasoline and diesel prices are set in B.C.

For now, the website does not provide the current price of gasoline at pumps across the province.

“Through a series of dashboards, GasPricesBC.ca displays publicly available data, which visitors can customize to view information based on geography or price components,” said the BCUC in a media release.

“The dashboards will be updated with further data as submissions are provided to the BCUC from industry participants.”

READ MORE: B.C. passes law to force oil companies to reveal how gas prices are set

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The provincial government passed legislation last year requiring companies to report information and data on their activities in the gasoline and diesel fuel market in B.C.

The provincial government promised action on gas prices last year after prices at the pump climbed over $1.50 a litre in some places. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic prices have plummeted to under a $1 a litre.

In investigating gas prices, the BCUC found an unexplained 10 to 13 cent premium on Lower Mainland fuel prices over Pacific Northwest wholesale prices.

The regulator says the differential is costing British Columbians an estimated half-billion dollars per year, and prompted the BCUC to question whether B.C. is a “functioning competitive market.”

BCUC release key findings from gas price inquiry
BCUC release key findings from gas price inquiry

“People are finding it incredibly frustrating to watch the prices of gasoline shoot up for no reason, and they are tired of feeling ripped off whenever they fill up their vehicles,” Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston said in a statement last year.

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“The Fuel Price Transparency Act will allow the British Columbia Utilities Commission to collect information from oil and gas companies on the market conditions involved in setting prices.”

The BCUC has established a feedback form so visitors can tell us what information they would like to see on the site, and says improvements and enhancements will continuously be made.

Why gas prices are still high in Metro Vancouver during COVID-19 oubreak
Why gas prices are still high in Metro Vancouver during COVID-19 oubreak

Last month, the B.C government designated the BCUC as the administrator of the FPT Act.

As the administrator of the FPT Act, the BCUC will be responsible for collecting and publishing information about gasoline and diesel fuel activities in B.C., in an effort to promote competitiveness and public confidence in the competitiveness of the fuel market.

The BCUC does not regulate fuel prices in B.C.

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