An Inquiry into Gasoline and Diesel Prices in BC

August 23, 2021

In April 2019, the average price of regular gas in Vancouver had reached an unexplained high. As a result, in May 2019, the BC Provincial Government directed the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) to conduct an inquiry into retail gasoline and diesel prices in the province. To support the BCUC, Deetken was engaged to complete an independent expert report to evaluate the factors that influence the price of gasoline and diesel in BC and to consider both market factors and non-market factors that might influence prices.

Our research revealed that, while diesel prices in BC remained largely in line with nearby jurisdictions, gasoline prices in BC had risen above historical price differentials. By piecing together several disparate data sources, we were able to explain a good portion of the price differential via the marginal transportation costs from Edmonton to BC, the impact of land values, the costs associated with credit card processing fees, and the low carbon fuel standard. This research and the broader inquiry led to the creation of the Fuel Price Transparency Act which is to be administered by the BCUC. 

Read our full reports here:     

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