As many Canadians prepare to hit the road for the long Labour Day weekend, experts say it’s likely that they’ll see a fall in gas prices.
Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy — a fuel price tracking website — says that as of Thursday, the average gas price across Canada is at about $1.59.6 per liter.
“The decline has continued now off and on for really the last 12 weeks. Most of that has been a decline. We could go lower yet ahead of the long weekend,” said De Haan.
According to GasBuddy.com, British Columbia has the most expensive gasoline heading into the Labour Day weekend, at an average 185.0 cents per litre.
The cheapest gas can be found in Alberta, where the average currently sits at 140.8 cents per litre.
De Haan expects that the drop in gas prices will continue for the next few weeks across Canada if no hurricanes or outages take place.
“We are starting to see a little bit more activity in the Atlantic in regards to hurricane season. So we certainly are at a higher risk of seeing disruption as we head into September, which is the peak of hurricane season. But if we can avoid hurricanes, I do think prices could continue falling,” he said.
Gas Wizard, a website that tracks gas prices nationwide, predicts that gas prices for a variety of cities, like Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, will go down by two cents on Friday.
But while the price of gasoline is falling, De Haan says the price of diesel is back on the increase.
“Prices for diesel are starting to go up by about $0.05 a liter in the last week,” he said.
According to Kristine D’Arbelles, senior director of public affairs for the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), gas prices at the moment are still much higher than what they were last year.
She says the lowest price was at $1.37 per liter around the same time in 2021.
“We’re still a good 0.20 (cents) higher than we were last year,” D’Arbelles added.
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She outlines the three main factors that play in determining the price of gas as seasonal changes, geopolitical conflicts, and the supply and demand for gas.
“Sometimes you’ll see that the price of gas will actually increase right before a long weekend … that’s because there’s an increase in demand and people go in for road trips, especially in the summer,” said D’Arbelles.
When it comes to geopolitical conflicts, Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine is putting greater pressure on an already surging oil price environment that’s costing Canadians more at the pump, she added.
Tips on saving fuel
D’Arbelles encourages Canadians to practice fuel-efficient driving — such as accelerating gently, avoiding jackrabbit starts and hard breaking.
“If you’re at a stop sign, to maximize your fuel efficiency, just count in your head, take five seconds to accelerate your vehicle to 20 kilometers an hour,” said D’Arbelles. “That’s going to use the least amount of gas and do the same thing when you’re about to stop.”
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D’Arbelles also says Canadians should keep up with their regular car maintenance, explaining that something as simple as under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to four per cent.
“Something as simple as just checking your tires every couple of weeks or even once a month is a good practice because it’ll save you gas in the long run,” she said.
Lastly, she says people need to avoid idling in the car, or at least do it as little as possible.
“In the summer, it’s super easy. You can turn off your car, you can roll down the windows, and (enjoy) a nice breeze. In the winter, we do find that it’s a little harder for some people to not idle, especially if they’re on the road,” said D’Arbelles.
She says a general rule of thumb is that if someone is going to be idling in their car for more than 30 to 60 seconds, it means they’re wasting gas — and money.
– with files from The Canadian Press
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