WASHINGTON — In an effort to promote E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) sales and track E85 prices, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced a unique opportunity to win FREE E85 for one year with a simple snap of a camera and click of a mouse. Participants must submit a photo of an E85 pump to www.chooseethanol.com/PostYourPrice and the winner will be drawn at random. E85 is currently sold at more than 3,440 stations and is approved for use in all flex-fuel vehicles.
“The more information we collect on E85 prices, the more we are able to track and ensure consumers receive a fair price for the high-octane, environmentally-friendly fuel. We hope consumers have fun with this contest, but also understand the cost-saving benefits of higher-level ethanol blends,” stated Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA.
E85 offers tremendous price savings for consumers, often being sold at $0.75–1.00/gallon less than E10 gasoline. However, RFA recently uncovered signs of price gouging in the St. Louis market during the 2014 summer driving season. It examined retail E85 prices at nine Big Oil-branded stations, finding an average E85 price of $3.48/gallon while the average E10 price stood at $3.45/gallon. The St. Louis retail price for E85 was surprising, given that wholesale E85 prices in St. Louis averaged $2.58/gallon compared to $2.93/gallon for E10. When factoring in RFS RIN prices, locally-available ethanol prices, hydrocarbon blendstock, and a more typical markup, RFA concluded that E85 could have been sold to consumers at retail prices as low as $2.44–2.55/gallon.
“Increased use of low-cost E85 will help America continue to run the course set out by the RFS to increase biofuels use in America’s transportation fuel, making the country safer and less dependent on foreign oil,” Dinneen stated. “The trends we found in the St. Louis market last summer are indeed troubling and underscore that Big Oil will stop at nothing to stifle the growth of E85 and other blends that offer greater consumer choice.”
In addition to an overall winner, two participants will receive free E85 for a month. This award will be given to the individual who posts a photo of the largest gap between E85 and regular unleaded gasoline and the individual who posts a photo of the smallest gap between E85 and regular unleaded gasoline.
More information on the terms and condition of the contest can be found at: www.chooseethanol.com/PostYourPrice.