Jet is the latest fuel retailer to join the Competition and Markets Authority’s voluntary pump price initiative, sharing daily updates on how much it is selling petrol and diesel for at its company-owned sites.
The supplier, which operates 11 of its own forecourts out of a network of 306 Jet-branded sites, joined the scheme on 7 February.
The addition of Jet brings the number of participants to 14, since its launch in August. The CMA introduced the temporary scheme after it concluded that competition between the supermarkets was not working properly and that there was a need to increase transparency in fuel pricing.
The scheme will be in place until legislation is introduced to compel all forecourt retailers to make real-time fuel prices available online. This might include a requirement that forecourts report fuel price changes within 30 minutes.
Jet’s move follows that of Moto, the motorway services operator, which enlisted on the voluntary scheme on 19 January.
Moto Hospitality chief executive Ken McMeikan says that transparency in prices is “a core part of Moto’s values”. He adds: “All 47 forecourts that we operate at Moto sites are already actively reporting live information and I would encourage more businesses to join the voluntary scheme to help promote fairness and transparency in the fuel industry.”
The voluntary information provided by forecourt retailers is available “unencumbered” for onward use, with retailers giving daily updates on prices of their E10 and E5 petrol, as well as B5 diesel and SDV super diesel at every site they operate. Retailers can also decide to provide prices on other fuel types such as LPG or EV.
App operators have already started to use the data. And by the end of March, the EdgePetrol app, which is used by 30 of the Top 50 Indie forecourts to manage pricing decisions, according to the company, will incorporate the data to the information it already provides on its app, which includes details on live volumes and margins.
The EdgePetrol app currently gives its 1,000 users access to competitor fuel pricing information using Experian Catalist data, which it says will no longer be available from 1 April. It says that while the voluntary data will be less extensive, it will be more reliable for super grades, less diesel heavy and have the advantage of providing today’s rather than yesterday’s figures.
”The industry is heavily reliant on pricing to make their pricing decisions and without it is shooting in the dark,” says Mark Truman, chief revenue officer at EdgePetrol. “Retailers have been calling us non-stop for the past couple of months asking what they are going to do without being able to see the Catalist data in the app. For smaller retailers they are still driving around and looking at competitor pole signs - this is hugely time consuming for them and time is not something they have a lot of.”
Commenting on Jet and Moto joining the scheme, Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA, says: “It is encouraging to see other companies are signing up to improve the service to the motorist.” He adds that a measure of success for the initiative is that the prices available to motorists are now more timely.
Participants include Top 50 Indies Applegreen, Ascona, SGN Retail, Motor Fuel Group, and Rontec. On the supermarket side Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and the Esso Tesco Alliance take part. Other fuel suppliers signed up are BP and Shell.