Z Energy admits breaking new price council rule which came into effect today
Z Energy’s service station in Crofton Downs, Wellington, did not display the ’95’ price on Friday, despite an initial assurance from the company that all of its stations complied with the new legal requirement.
Z Energy broke a new rule that came into effect on Friday that requires oil companies to display the prices of all the fuels they sell on their price boards.
A spokeswoman said she was confident the error at her Crofton Downs petrol station in Wellington was “one-off”.
The regulations were designed to help address concerns that oil companies were charging high premiums for “95” and “98” octane gasoline.
This was one of the key recommendations of the Commerce Commission’s market study of the fuels industry which was completed in 2019.
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Z Energy spokeswoman Haley Mortimer first said Friday morning that all of its gas stations were “absolutely” compliant with the new rule.
However, she later admitted that her Crofton Downs service station in Wellington did not display the price of 95 on its price board after Things visited the site.
The man behind the Gisborne iwi trust didn’t realize it was the lowest price in the country, according to Gaspy, and said it was to provide a service to the community.
Mortimer said investigations showed it was the result of human error.
“We requested permission to move the prizes to an LED card which was not initially granted.
“Between a team asking for consent to install an LED sign and another team responsible for manually updating the signage, to be frank, it all fell through the cracks.”
The situation will be resolved by the end of next week, she said.
The Commerce Commission said in August it could seek fines of up to $5 million if fuel companies fail to comply with new rules stemming from its market review, which also include new regulations regarding terminal gate pricing and wholesale contracts.
Oil companies had nearly two years to update their price tables after the government first announced it would legislate the requirement.
Z Energy chief executive Michael Bennett said at the time that he intended to display the price of premium gasoline at all of his Z and Caltex gas stations by mid-2020, describing an 18-month grace period as unnecessary.
The new signaling rules appear to favor Z, as they could potentially give it a relative advantage over rivals who sell more 98-octane fuel at a higher price.
AA policy adviser Terry Collins said he was aware that a large number of gas stations had updated their signage in the past two months.
He had no knowledge of any other offence.
The AA had lobbied hard for the rule change which it said would reduce price premiums for higher octane fuels, which it considered excessive.
But Collins said the additional signage was only effective when motorists were in an area.
“Our advice is to take a look at phone apps that have petrol prices and plan where you are going to get your petrol as it may be cheaper halfway through your trip than at your destination. .”