PBT Variable Fuel Charge

PBT Variable Fuel Charge Calculation Method    

PBT Sales

9 December 2015

At the end of every month PBT obtains diesel prices from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to calculate the variable fuel charge (VFC).

The data set is available at the following website.

MBIE Oil Price Monitoring

The MBIE diesel price data set is available from their website as a csv file. PBT uses the data from the column 'Main Port Price'

New Zealand diesel retail prices, the main port price, presented in the MBIE data set represent weekly average retail prices from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

Statistics New Zealand compile this price series by surveying a selection of service stations in 12 regions of New Zealand.

PBT's VFC is applied when the average Port Price over the preceding month is greater than $1.35

Total VFC is the addition of VFC and the road user charge surcharge (RUC). As of July 2015 the RUC surcharge is 3.29 per cent.


There is a one month lag between the sample data and its application. For example, to calculate January's VFC we sample the fuel data at the end of November. This allows one month's notice over December before the VFC is applied. This lag means customers may observe pump prices that are different from the rate we used. In a practical sense it means when prices are increasing we are always one month behind the current price.

Over the past 12 months the average diesel price recorded as the 'main port price' is $1.28

The diesel price has been below PBT's VFC starting point of $1.35 per litre since December 2014.





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