May 23, 2003
(Government Services and Lands)


The following is being distributed at the request of the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission:

Non-regulated propane prices brought to commission�s attention

The beginning of nicer weather has prompted people to call the Petroleum Products Pricing Commission (PPPC) about the cost of propane these days.

But George Saunders, PPPC commissioner, said while his office understands the public�s concerns, there isn�t anything the commission can do.

From the outset, the commission�s legislation was designed to regulate fuels that were solely used for automotives or home heat. In the case of propane, the PPPC is only responsible for regulating the price of residential propane � a fuel that is used for home heating purposes and is delivered to residences.

Now that the summer season is about to begin, more people are firing up their barbecues or are hitting the road with their recreation vehicles. These activities require propane and, consequently, more attention has been brought to the high cost of this fuel at service centres throughout the province.

In some cases, outlet propane prices are as high as $1 per litre or more, while the price for residential propane regulated by the commission throughout the province ranges from 61.3 cents per litre (cpl) in Zone 2 (Clarenville/Burin-Bonavista Peninsulas) to 67.3 cpl in Zone 9 (Northern Peninsula to Englee/St. Anthony).

Mr. Saunders said the Grand Falls-Windsor-based office has received several complaints from the public about the high cost of propane, and these people want to know what the commission can do about it.

"Any propane that consumers purchase to use for the RVs or barbecues is outside of our jurisdiction," said Mr. Saunders. "Several people have brought it to our attention that they aren�t pleased with the fact they have to pay a lot more for the same fuel at outlets than what�s being delivered to homes. We understand their frustration, but it is outside of our legislative authority, and consumers are encouraged to shop around for the best prices before making any purchases."

Media contact: Michelle Hicks, communications. Tel: 1-866-489-8800; (709) 489-8837; Cell: (709) 486-4789

2003 05 23                                    10:50 a.m.

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