Gas prices

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

In the past several weeks, readers have brought several issues to my attention repeatedly. One of those issues is gas prices.

As I’m sure most are aware, the complaint regarding gas prices is not so much that they’re high, it’s that’s they’re substantially higher than other nearby places (i.e. Williams Lake). While I don’t have yearly averages, a quick look on suggests that as I’m writing this, gas prices in 100 Mile House is 143.9 compared to 138.9 in Williams Lake. Meanwhile, Cache Creek is also at 143.9 and Kamloops is between 131.9 and 134.9. The difference, for someone who drives as much as me at those prices, is up to several hundred dollars a year.

We have looked into this in the past. We’ve struggled to get answers on why specifically Williams Lake and 100 Mile House differ. However, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) provides some generic answers.

READ ALSO: Even when it’s not fake news, it’s misleading

When it comes to fuel, there are two types of taxes: fixed tax (10 cents of federal excise tax per litre on gasoline), according to NRC. Three municipalities also charge a fixed tax but none of them are closeby (Vancouver, Victoria and Montreal). Secondly, there’s sales tax (i.e. GST). Neither of those explains why gas would be cheaper in Williams Lake or Kamloops.

The second reason is competition, according to NRC. Price matching between nearby stations can result in prices going up and down quickly. Although with gas prices seemingly fairly consistent in both 100 Mile and Williams Lake, it also doesn’t seem the most likely candidate.

Third, is the amount of fuel sold.

“A station in a smaller community or neighbourhood with fewer sales may have to charge a higher price to cover its fixed operating costs. Plus, it may not be eligible for volume discounts from gasoline wholesalers. Likewise, if an area has many stations, each has less traffic and fewer sales, which may lead to higher prices.”

READ ALSO: Highways should’ve been closed

This is something we’ve been pointed to when inquiring about the differences in the past. Williams Lake has around or just over 10 gas stations (depending on how you count, i.e. bulk fuel, card locks etc.) with a population of over 10,000 while 100 Mile House has a population of less than 2,000 with about four gas stations. In other words, Williams Lake has a gas station for every 1,000 people while 100 Mile has one for every 500. Now I would suspect that 100 Mile has a greater influx of workers from outside city limits but many of those outlying areas also have their own gas stations.

Lastly, is type and location of gas stations. Location relates to higher fuel delivery costs. Type of stations refers to additional services offered. For example, if a station has a car wash or fast food, those help cover operating costs.

“In fact, so-called ‘big box’ retailers view low-cost gasoline retailing as a way to attract customers in order to increase their in-store sales.” Both of these seem somewhat unlikely given the proximity of 100 Mile to Williams Lake and the general lack of additional services in both.

Whatever the reason is for the high(er) gas prices, it seems like a lose-lose situation for everyone.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Work truck stolen from Prime Country Meats along Highway 97 near Lac la Hache

100 Mile RCMP responded to 84 complaints and calls for service during the past week

GoFundMe started after fire leaves Ruth Lake cabin severely damaged

‘The fire hit hard and fast - he lost everything’

Will you be voting for a different federal party than you did in 2015?

The weekly web poll for the 100 Mile Free Press

Capturing everyday life: Verboom brings loose realism to the Showcase Gallery

‘I love that our Cariboo life is real people with real jobs… blue collar, hard-working people’

100 Mile House Fire-Rescue kicks off fire prevention week with open house

“We always want the public to come and see for themselves”

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read