Gasoline & Diesel Pricing

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ("NSUARB" or "Board") prescribes the prices for petroleum products sold in the province. It also has the jurisdiction to conduct investigations and hearings respecting the boundaries of the zones across the province, fixed wholesale prices, maximum retail prices and minimum and maximum retail mark-ups. These regulatory functions under the Petroleum Products Pricing Act and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulations were assigned to the Board as of October 1, 2009. Prior to that, prices of petroleum products were set by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. The Board conducted a hearing in 2006 into issues related to the pricing of petroleum products. The Board's Decision was released in October 2006.

In prescribing petroleum product prices, the Board first must set a "benchmark price" as defined in the Regulations. The following amounts are currently added to the benchmark price to calculate the fixed wholesale price, namely, the established wholesale margin (6.65¢ per litre), the federal excise tax (10.0¢ per litre for gasoline and 4.0¢ per litre for diesel), the provincial motive fuel tax (15.5¢ per litre for gasoline and 15.4¢ per litre for diesel), a transportation allowance (0.5¢ to 2.2¢ per litre depending on which zone applies), a forward averaging correction and, when appropriate, a winter blending allowance for diesel only. A retail margin of 4.8¢ per litre, and HST of 15% on the total, is added to the fixed wholesale price to generate the minimum retail price for each petroleum product. The same process is followed, except a retail margin of 6.6¢ per litre is applied, to establish the maximum retail price for each petroleum product. There is, effectively, no maximum retail price for full-serve gasoline or diesel.

The Board‘s jurisdiction under the Regulations includes the following matters:

  1. the boundaries of the zones
  2. the fixed wholesale prices
  3. the maximum retail prices
  4. the minimum and maximum retail mark-ups

Applications relating to the above can be filed with the Board by a retailer, wholesaler or wholesaler-retailer, any five persons, firms or corporations, or the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Following an investigation, the Board may hold a hearing into any of the above matters to determine whether they are just and reasonable.

All Board decisions and Orders are in writing and are available to the public.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Act and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulations can be accessed through the Statutes, Rules & Regulations page.

Decisions of the Board can be accessed through the Decision Archive.

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