You don't have to go far to find a deal at the gas station.
The recent record-high prices at the pumps have prompted many to shop around for a bargain, with some driving as far as Smoky Lake to fill up at a reduced price. People who do not want to drive out of their way might be surprised to learn that an Alberta-based farming cooperative provides cheap gas for everyone.
United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is an agricultural-based cooperative that has been operating in the province for the last 113 years. In addition to farm and ranch supply stores, the company offers its Cardlock gas pump network, which works when you insert a coded card into a reader.
"Anybody can become a member of UFA—you don't have to be a farmer," said Don Smith, vice president of petroleum for UFA.
Gas prices at UFA are well below what you'd see at most retail gas stations. As of Wednesday, regular gas in Fort Saskatchewan sells for $1.68 per litre, while UFA is selling for $1.38 per litre. Since their network doesn't compete with the retail gas world, they are able to sell at a lower cost based on wholesale costs plus a markup.
He noted that pricing varies, however, depending on the customer and the quantity of gasoline sold.
"At a Cardlock, you have to use your card at the card reader. You activate the pump from there, and you tell it what pump you're using, and each pump only dispenses one kind of product."
UFA offers regular gasoline, diesel, and dyed gasoline, which is only available to farmers or others permitted for certain tax exemptions. Any interested person should register for a membership, said Smith.
"We encourage people to support our cooperative because our cooperative supports Alberta."
You can register to receive your membership card here for $5; it should arrive within 10 business days.