Irving Oil is scheduled to appear before the New Brunswick Energy and Utility Board (EUB) in March, asking for clearance to increase wholesale prices. If approved, that would mean a 4.09-cent-per-litre hike for motor fuel and 3.02 cents per litre for furnace oil.
But now the company says it can’t wait that long.
It’s gone before the board early asking for permission to immediately put a portion of those anticipated increases in place.
In the case of motor fuel, it wants to increase prices by 3.5 cents per litre ASAP. It wants a three-cent-per-litre hike on furnace oil.
The company cites challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in its reasoning for the urgency – namely a decrease in demand and increase in costs.
Its most recent hike request began to be heard by the board Monday but was adjourned before long when a lot of the evidence the company submitted to state its case was redacted.
Interveners objected to the secrecy, citing limitations the blacked-out figures put on their arguments.
So another hearing came up Friday, with whether or not the redacted information should be shared now the focus.
“You cannot make an economic argument without providing numbers,” said Abram Lutes with Common Front for Social Justice NB.
“There needs to be some sort of numerical substantiation of these claims that can be examined.”
Irving Oil argues that revealing what’s redacted could make it vulnerable to competition in a volatile market.
Having now heard both sides of that argument, the EUB took Friday afternoon to deliberate, with its verdict on whether or not to show the numbers to interveners expected Monday morning.
Then the hearing will shift focus back to whether or not these increases will be allowed.