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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

European Union finds stability?

Enter higher prices

Media release

Conception Bay South, NL, November 15, 2011- Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will find cold comfort with government releasing details of its home heating rebate today with the markets and oil prices rebounding this week. That news is from George Murphy, group researcher for the Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices.

“We’re at a point where the markets have bounced oil prices upwards again, mainly on speculation of the European union’s member nations Italy and Greece replacing their leadership, and some positive US economic news.” Murphy said. ‘However, the markets are turning refined commodity prices to a point where they’re starting to bite into consumers pocket-books again with heating and stove oil prices rising again to almost $1.03 a litre in the St. John’s area, and up close to $1.23 for a litre of heating oil in Gaultois. They’re again making heating prices unaffordable to most, regardless of what relief measures that government is undertaking today.”

First, the numbers

“Numbers are showing a 2.69 cents a litre increase for heating and stove oil prices and an added 2.8 cents a litre on diesel fuels. Gasoline shows a 2.0 cent a litre drop, but a break in prices may be short-lived if oil prices continue their way upwards. With energy prices rising, consumers are going to feel the pinch at the wrong time of the year.”

Government announces heating rebate program

“While government is enjoying almost 600 million in royalties, according to Minister Marshall’s statement some weeks ago, we’re looking at consumers getting the fickle end of the stick that comes with higher energy prices, and a lot of consumers out there simply can’t afford some energy costs anymore. The rebate itself potentially only covers a third of a tank of heating fuel and needs to see another examination of what it sends out to consumers who need it. What’s even more alarming is a statistic tied with last year’s program that showed almost 66,000 homes received the rebate, a $16.5 million dollar payout! The number of recipient homes here is an alarming statistic and adds focus to the problem of sky-rocketing energy costs, particularly for those on fixed incomes or pensions.”

“Hopefully, the markets will turn the opposite direction again and send prices lower, but the promise of economic turn-around has to be worrisome for at least some people out there, particularly for those left behind. It’s for just this example that the Occupy movement has reason, and some have good reason to worry this winter, so far.”

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For more information, contact;

George Murphy

Group researcher/Member

Consumer Group for Fair Gas Prices

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