LPG prices fuel user's anger

00:44, Mar 31 2014

A Blenheim man is seeing red over LPG prices in Marlborough.

John Elvy said he was shocked when he was charged $35 to refill his 9-kilogram bottle and is concerned that the high prices will affect those who use LPG as their main source of heating this winter.

He said that in Dunedin he got a standard 9kg bottle refilled for as little as $20 at Nova Energy and the alternative supplier, Contact, charged only $22.

"It's the same in Oamaru where a 9kg refill bottle only cost me $25 at the Caltex service station," he said.

He wondered if a lack of competition in Blenheim was behind the steep prices.

"On a recent trip through the North Island I saw similar prices there; the most expensive I paid was around $28," he said.

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Bottle swap options he saw were priced around $34, which included a margin to replace the old bottle should it be faulty or require re-certification.

"It seems that local LPG suppliers have simply cranked their price up to the same level or greater than the swap options. With winter closing in, the high prices are going to have an impact on those that use LPG as their primary heat source," Elvy said.

He felt Marlborough needed companies such as Nova to bring prices down and create healthy competition.

"We are being ripped off big time."

Elgas South Island regional manager Roger Smith said that as a supplier they did not set pricing of LPG - that was done by the retailers.

Boc declined to comment.

The Marlborough Express