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Fuel Prices

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 26 April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Ceisteanna (197)

Neale Richmond

Ceist:

197. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he has considered ways to make consumers aware of the prices of petrol in a centralised database prior to purchasing to help combat the rising costs of fuel; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20033/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

The matter raised in the question is outside the remit of my Department.  I understand that the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications provides a weekly update on average consumer prices for a range of fuels in fulfilment of Ireland’s obligation to report such prices to the European Commission and they may be in a position to provide a response. 

In many markets the ability of consumers to switch between suppliers acts as a disciplining force on the actions of firms (including the prices charged by those firms).  Switching between service stations can help to constrain the prices charged at the fuel pump, however the price of fuels is strongly influenced by external factors which are outside of the control of service stations.  This can be seen in recent weeks where the prices of fuels across the EU have risen in response to a number of supply related issues. 

Price display orders have functioned to provide clear pricing information to consumers both before they enter a trader’s premises and at the point of sale.  The roadside displays raise consumers awareness of pricing and allow them to make informed decisions.  The price display requirements and trader compliance are enforced by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).   

Complaints to the CCPC have not reflected or indicated consumer difficulty accessing the price of fuel across service stations in their local area.  The geographical distribution of service stations in Ireland is such that in many areas the ability of a consumer to shop around (i.e., drive to a range of service stations) may be limited. In the experience of the CCPC, product and service comparisons are particularly effective where all products are available to all consumers in the market.  The CCPC does not include products on its financial comparison tools that are not available nationally to the majority of consumers.

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