So, apparently Calgarians are ‘fuming’ over the low price of gas in Red Deer. A friend told me they paid 113.9 cents/litre in Red Deer just the other day.
However, even Calgary is consistently below what we have to pay for gas here in Airdrie – generally about fives cents a litre less . Presently we have been stuck for some time at 143.9 a litre for regular grade gasoline, whereas it ranges from 136.9 to 139.9 all over Calgary.
(These prices are based off the Gas Buddy website on Sept. 18, by the way). Other prices listed on the site that day include Edmonton at $124.9 per litre, Carstairs at $1.39 per litre, Beiseker at $1.34, Olds at $1.36. Strangely, Cochrane, Strathmore, and Crossfield all fall in the same boat as Airdrie, with their prices set around $1.44 per litre on that date).
It was not always like this. Having lived in Airdrie for over 20 years now, we know that for many years, we in Airdrie were generally a little below the average Calgary price. But that has not been the case for years now.
The consistency of the higher prices here in Airdrie would suggest ‘collusion.’ Did all the owners of the gas stations in Airdrie meet and greet over coffee one time years ago and agree to always set a higher price than Calgary and not undercut each other? It would seem so. Sadly, they must have noticed no discernible difference in their level of sales so they happily kept it up there.
It might only be a difference of four or five cents per litre (or 30 cents per litre when compared to Red Deer) but it seems that Airdrie dupes are paying some of the highest gas prices in the larger part of Alberta for about the last five or maybe even 10 years now.
Collusion can go both ways. How about if everyone (that is able to) purposely buys their gas in Calgary – or pretty much anywhere else in the vicinity it would seem – and avoids buying Airdrie’s premium-priced gas until they actually take notice of some lost business? Maybe even let them know somehow that you’re not buying their gas until it’s at least the same price as Calgary’s.
As long as they think that people don’t notice or care and they are maintaining their level of sales at that higher price, we will always be paying more.