Being in the energy conservation business, I have a heightened awareness of energy consumption, and prices. One of the things I do is look at what is happening at gas stations. So, what I saw recently tells me gas stations are preparing for higher gasoline prices. Let me tell you why.
Several years before 2008, when gasoline prices broke through the $1.00/liter ceiling, gasoline stations were caught unprepared. Their signage and pumps were limited to two digits, which meant they were set up to charge a maximum of $0.99/liter.
As a result, gas stations became digitalized to respond to fluctuating market prices. Further changes were made to the pumps by pre-authorizing a credit card purchase of “$100” instead of the previous “fill-up”. Although this is to prevent credit card fraud, it is telling of the expected cost of filling up a tank.
Indeed, I have seen $100 paid by the previous customer before using the pump. So, I was surprised when the pre-authorized credit card purchase was recently increased to “$200”.
We don’t know when exactly when it will cost $200 to fill up a tank of gasoline, but we know for sure it is coming.
Undoubtedly, consumers will be upset when driving a car will be a luxury by choice; however, it is a good thing because it will spur greater conservation and efficiency that otherwise would not happen if prices remained unrealistically low.
Sharolyn Mathieu Vettese
SMV Energy Solutions