News release

Gas Regulation Review Released

A six-month review of gas price regulation indicates prices tend to be more stable under regulation. The report shows fewer price changes and more uniform prices across the province, which were government goals set when regulation was introduced.

The review, released today, April 26, by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Jamie Muir, was conducted by Gardner Pinfold Consulting and assessed the impact of gas regulation on consumers and the retail gas industry. The cost of the study was $132,000.

Michael Gardner, the report's author, cautioned that reviewing only a half-year pricing cycle limited the study's effectiveness in determining what lasting impact regulation has had and will have on retail infrastructure.

However, from the review, Mr. Gardner recommends:

  • removing the price cap currently on full-service stations
  • making price adjustments every week instead of bi-weekly
  • adopting a fixed and transparent formula for forward averaging
  • developing a framework for regulatory review

Government is studying the recommendations.

Gas regulation has been in place in Nova Scotia since July 1, 2006. Since that time there has been no net change in the number of gas stations across the province.

The report was commissioned by the province to monitor how well regulation is meeting the goals of price stability and maintaining industry infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.

The report can be found online at www.gov.ns.casnsmr/petroleum/pdf/GAS_REVIEW_REPORT_04-2007.pdf .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Results of a six-month review of gas price regulation were released today (April 26th) indicating gas prices tend to be more stable under regulation, with fewer price changes and more uniform prices across the province.

These results support government goals set when regulation was introduced in July 2006.

The report also recommends changes to the current regulation system such as removing the price cap on full-service stations and making price adjustments every week instead of bi-weekly.

Government is studying the recommendations.

The report can be found on-line at W-W-W dot gov dot N-S dot C-A.

-30-

Media Contact:

Deborah Bayer
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Tel: 902-424-0112 Cell: 225-4982 E-mail: