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HEB E85 - $2.829 - Barker Ctpress Rd and 290 Houston, TX

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Just make a point of telling the station owner that in other states they are running far better price splits and have found that slim a margin will result in very limited sales. Mention that in Colorado we are getting a 90 cent split between E85 and regular ($2.19 /gal e85 vs $3.09 regular unleaded)

 

All we can do is keep beating the drum on that one.

 

Larry

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That is an idea... ;)

 

About talking to the station owner...

 

You think that will work Larry?

 

HEB is a grocery store chain that has fuel pumps out front... who would I talk to?

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Just play it by ear, on a couple of occasions I have simply made comments to the counter person, and on one particular occasion I called and asked to speak to the manager. If they get no feed back at all they think there is no demand for the fuel, If people tell them, I would love to buy this but I will not until you price it properly they know they are screwing themselves out of sales by mis-pricing the fuel. I have also mentioned that most cars take a 15% mileage hit and the fuel contains 30% less energy per gallon so until it is priced lower to reflect those two issues, they are over pricing the fuel.

 

I think most of them simply have no clue what the right price is and think a 15% discount is a good deal until you explain that the first 15% discount is in reality a break even at best. Send them a letter too and include a link to the E85 prices site. One of the lessons you learn in govt is that for each person that bothers to communicate a problem there are 4-5 or more people that feel the same way.

 

I have even been known to magnify the effect by speaking to the counter person anonymously and then phoning the store a couple days later and complaining about the price. It is really helpful if there are local stations that are already pricing the fuel properly but it is a classic case of the squeeky wheel.

 

In one case I bought only 2 gallons of fuel, went into the store and told them that I had intended to fill up but not at that price, and told them the 2 gallons would get me to another station that was selling the same fuel for over 50 cents less a gallon. Don't be bashful either speak up in front of other customers letting them know the fuel is over priced. If there is a line of folks behind you waiting to pay for gasoline and they all hear your comments (voiced pleasantly and respectfully) you have planted a seed in their mind as well, about the fact that the fuel should be cheaper and it is a good cost saving option.

 

Larry

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There are two things to keep in mind here in Texas.  HEB and Kroger are supplied from different blenders now and they both have a price that is directly tied to E10.  Its 30 cents per gallon cheaper than their current price of E10 regardless of the price of E10. They are also the only suppliers in the state open to the public.  This is monopolistic practice as HEB and Kroger don't try to overlap in their sales areas.  Kroger in Dallas and HEB in Houston and Austin.

 

NEVC lists other public suppliers in Texas but they are either gone or not built yet.

 

 

Just play it by ear, on a couple of occasions I have simply made comments to the counter person, and on one particular occasion I called and asked to speak to the manager. If they get no feed back at all they think there is no demand for the fuel, If people tell them, I would love to buy this but I will not until you price it properly they know they are screwing themselves out of sales by mis-pricing the fuel. I have also mentioned that most cars take a 15% mileage hit and the fuel contains 30% less energy per gallon so until it is priced lower to reflect those two issues, they are over pricing the fuel.

 

I think most of them simply have no clue what the right price is and think a 15% discount is a good deal until you explain that the first 15% discount is in reality a break even at best. Send them a letter too and include a link to the E85 prices site. One of the lessons you learn in govt is that for each person that bothers to communicate a problem there are 4-5 or more people that feel the same way.

 

I have even been known to magnify the effect by speaking to the counter person anonymously and then phoning the store a couple days later and complaining about the price. It is really helpful if there are local stations that are already pricing the fuel properly but it is a classic case of the squeeky wheel.

 

In one case I bought only 2 gallons of fuel, went into the store and told them that I had intended to fill up but not at that price, and told them the 2 gallons would get me to another station that was selling the same fuel for over 50 cents less a gallon. Don't be bashful either speak up in front of other customers letting them know the fuel is over priced. If there is a line of folks behind you waiting to pay for gasoline and they all hear your comments (voiced pleasantly and respectfully) you have planted a seed in their mind as well, about the fact that the fuel should be cheaper and it is a good cost saving option.

 

Larry

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A factor in E85 pricing in your area that will be tough until you get more ethanol plants in Texas is that 1) you are in the heart of oil refinery country from which prices increase the farther north you go up the pipeline and 2) you are currently about 8-12 cents higher down the rail line from Midwest supply. This makes current ethanol economics tough there- similar on the East coast where fairly low cost refined gas is dumped by Europe at times. Ethanol production needs to be developed regionally using local feedstocks to overcome some of these issues.

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Transportation of the fuel has been something I was curious about.  Yet in Houston the price and discount is the same and Houston is 6 hours by truck or rail from Dallas.

 

Mesquite is a Dallas suburb and has been approved as a train stop for ethanol.  I'm not completely sure what that means.

 

A factor in E85 pricing in your area that will be tough until you get more ethanol plants in Texas is that 1) you are in the heart of oil refinery country from which prices increase the farther north you go up the pipeline and 2) you are currently about 8-12 cents higher down the rail line from Midwest supply. This makes current ethanol economics tough there- similar on the East coast where fairly low cost refined gas is dumped by Europe at times. Ethanol production needs to be developed regionally using local feedstocks to overcome some of these issues.

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