How you can save $140 a year on fuel with simple change
AN assessment of the State Government’s fuel reporting trial found that the biggest drop in the price of unleaded petrol in south east Queensland has occurred in Ipswich.
Starting in December 2018, fuel retailers are required to report price changes as part of the two-year trial.
Retailers are required to report fuel price changes within half an hour, with that information passed on to app and web developers.
It has saved motorists across the south east an estimated $14 million.
A report by Griffith University on the trial results so far found “retail fuel prices across UL91, PULP and E10 have declined in a statistically significant manner” since the trial began.
“The estimated fall in the ULP91 price due to the implementation of the trial in the Brisbane (local government area) is approximately 0.51 per cent,” the report read.
“The impact is only marginally higher for the south east Queensland average (0.52 per cent).
“The greatest observed fall in average daily ULP91 price was in Ipswich, where the estimated impact of the trial on regular unleaded fuel prices was almost one per cent (0.95 per cent).
“As well, across different non-diesel fuel variants (ULP91, PULP and E10) the trial seems have a consistent impact of reducing fuel prices across several south east Queensland regions including Ipswich (and the) Lockyer Valley.”
The report estimated motorists shopping around for fuel online or on their phone in Ipswich could save $139.90 a year.
Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Queensland drivers are checking petrol prices on comparison apps and websites more than 600,000 times per month, compared to less than 350,000 in 2018.
More than 1500 servos across the state are reporting their bowser prices.
Dr Lynham believed the trial has been “a hit” so far.
“Queensland drivers have nearly doubled how often they are checking fuel prices each month with the dozen price-comparison apps and websites now available,” he said.
“And the latest independent research by Griffith University shows that checking prices pays off.
“The reduction in average petrol prices means an extra $10 million in the pockets of Brisbane motorists, and an extra $14 million in the pockets of motorists across the south east.
“The main purpose of the trial is to make it easy to shop around and save by putting fuel prices into the hands of motivated motorists, but a decline in average prices is a double win for south east Queenslanders.”
Griffith University will deliver a final report in 2021.
The RACQ believes these findings mean price reporting should be made permanent.
RACQ head of public policy Dr Rebecca Michael said it showed there was a demand for real time data and the trial had resulted in considerable savings for drivers at the bowser.
“We know from this report and our own analysis price transparency has had a dramatic impact on competition in the market, and given drivers the power to compare prices and be savvy on how and where they spend their money to fill up the tank,” she said.
“We’ve had more than 130,000 downloads of our RACQ Fair Fuel Finder app since the commencement of the trial and almost 38,000 active users every month.
“As a result of this trial we have seen genuine change to pricing. We’ve seen more cheap days and a drop in average prices across Queensland, particularly in the south east.
“We fought hard for drivers to have free accessible information to make more informed decisions, and now that we know it’s working, it’s time to make the trial a permanent fixture.”
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.