By: Quintina Northrup

Commuters across New Brunswick have watched gas prices steadily climb this season, hitting a high of $147.2 on October 21.

Prices dipped momentarily by 1.4 cents per litre for motorists when The Energy and Utilities Board made their weekly price adjustment overnight at midnight on October 27, as fuel prices are reset every Wednesday night in New Brunswick. Diesel prices fell by only four-tenths of a cent.

The New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) is an independent quasi-judicial board with the responsibility of overseeing the regulation of all public utilities including electricity and natural gas utilities. They are also responsible for the safe and reliable delivery of services to customers at a fair and reasonable price, as stated on their website.

Prices are set using the weekly average price for refined petroleum products traded at the New York Harbour division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. EUB sets the price based on a seven-day trading week, from Wednesday to the following Tuesday. The Board exercises no discretion when setting gas prices.

To calculate what is paid at the pump, EUB uses a formula that considers wholesale and retail margins, delivery costs, and applicable taxes.

EUB sets maximum prices for petroleum products sold in New Brunswick as per the Petroleum Products Pricing Act and NB Regulation 2006-41.

The Energy and Utilities Board does not receive any funding from the government. EUB expenses are paid for by the industries they regulate.

In the past, gas has been sold at a lower rate, and New Brunswickers have seen prices at the pump vary greatly throughout the province. A wholesaler, such as Costco or any retailer, may simply decide to sell at lower prices. This competitive move can result in retail prices being less than the maximum. 

The current maximum gas price in New Brunswick is $15o.1 per litre as of the publication of this article. This time last year, regular self-serve was selling for 99.6 cents per litre, while diesel sat around $1.03 per litre. 

With the holiday season right around the corner, any reprieve for motorists from the all-time high prices would be a welcome early Christmas gift.