The costs of some fuels in Newfoundland and Labrador rose again on Friday as the Public Utilities Board changed prices for the third time this week as the global oil market continues to fluctuate.
In a press release issued shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday – the PUB said a “technical glitch” prevented the release from being sent Thursday evening as scheduled – the council announced that the prices of diesel, fuel oil and heating oil had increased. The price of regular gasoline has not increased.
Diesel rose another 9.4 cents per litre, bringing the total rise to about 24 cents for the week after increases on Wednesday and Thursday.
Diesel costs $2.31 per liter in the Avalon Peninsula, $2.34 in central Newfoundland, $2.32 in the Corner Brook and Deer Lake area, and $2.33 in the Northern Peninsula . It’s just under $2 for most of Labrador, except for the Western Region, where it’s $2.38, and Churchill Falls, where it’s $2.40 .
Heating oil rose another 11.51 cents per litre, or about 25 cents on the week. Northeast Avalon is pegged at $1.65 per litre, central Newfoundland at $1.69, the Corner Brook area at $1.66, Stephenville at $1.69 and the Northern Peninsula at $1.67.
Furnace oil increased by 8.15 cents per litre.
The PUB said the next price change is scheduled for Thursday, but added that it continues to monitor daily reference prices for motor fuels and heating fuels using “prescribed sources set out in the Petroleum Products Regulations ” and will adjust the maximum prices outside of the scheduled adjustment. if the circumstances warrant it.
The following chart shows how gasoline prices have changed recently at retailers in Newfoundland and Labrador, as reported by users of the GasBuddy.com website.
“Certainly a frustration”
Fuel increases continue to weigh heavily on the wallets of many people across the province.
Morgan Budgell of Gander has been renting a property in the city since July with his girlfriend – the couple’s first rental using oil heating.
“Oil heating is incredibly efficient, but the price is what surprised me the most,” Budgell said.
“Before the peak, it was around $250 [a month] range and after the peak it’s around $400. That’s about half a tank of oil.”
Compensating for the extra cost of heating oil per month needs to come out of the budget elsewhere, Budgell said. He said he had a balance on his phone and internet bills and was deferring car payments.
Budgell said the future looked bleak and the couple tried to take shortcuts where they could. They considered selling their vehicle and renting out their guest room.
“There’s not a lot of money that can flow, especially when you’re working in the lower end of the service industry,” he said.
“It’s definitely a frustration. … We had a big plan to come back to Gander and try to save some money and maybe put a down payment on a house and it’s just not happening.”
St. Alban’s Edith Organ is also feeling the pinch. Organ, an organizer for the area’s over-50s club, said older people struggle to earn a fixed income.
“We make do with what we have. That’s all we can do,” she said.
“My mom uses home heating oil. Shortly after Christmas she filled up her tank, over $800.”
Organ said fuel prices are becoming a real issue for members of his community who must travel the 180 kilometers to the nearest specialists in Grand Falls-Windsor for medical reasons.
She said it would cost about $200 for the trip.
“I don’t know why there is such a gap on gas,” she said. “Every time you turn around, it costs more for one thing and another. The government is going to have to do something.”
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