Nova Scotian motorists woke up to news of cheaper gas last week. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) used its interrupter mechanism to adjust the price of gasoline March 20, 2021. In some areas, including Halifax, prices dropped eight cents to around $1.23 for a litre of regular. This price compares to $1.31 the day before. Other areas of the province also saw prices fall to minimums of $1.23 to $1.24.
The UARB considers using the interrupter clause for petroleum products when the market price fluctuates by a range of plus or minus 6.0 to 8.0 cents per litre versusa weekly benchmark price set by the board.
Nova Scotia joins the other Atlantic provinces with a public utility board that regulates the wholesale price of fuel. In Nova Scotia, the interrupter mechanism has been used several times to counter roller-coaster swings in the market valuation of fuel. Last week UARB saw significant shifts in this value and acted after gas prices were seen climbing over the month.
Under the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulations, UARB may make an order to temporarily prescribe interim fixed wholesale prices in a situation that may threaten the security of the petroleum supply. This includes where there may be a shortage of supply of a petroleum product to wholesalers and wholesaler-retailers.