Making the adaptation of the vehicle for the use of LP Gas or, using gasoline plus91, are part of the advice given by the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (RECOPE) to consumers to “save” money in the face of the rise in the prices of fuels.
According to the research department of said entity, using LP gas can represent a saving of ¢ 352 thousand per year in an average distance of 14,685 kilometers (according to Riteve data). In addition, it is indicated that using 91 plus gasoline instead of super gasoline can generate a saving of ¢ 991 each time you fill the vehicle’s fuel tank.
“Actions that we can recommend to the consumer in the face of increases in fuel prices since these increases are due to situations that we do not have control over and this is what we (the Refiner) can recommend to have control in actions that generate savings”, declared the executive president of RECOPE, Alejandro Muñoz, weeks ago when explaining the reasons why the increase that came into force this Thursday was requested.
Not taken into account
What the RECOPE director did not take into account is that its “recommendations” are not easy to apply or are not available to all drivers.
For example, the change that vehicles require to adapt them to gas has a cost of ¢800 thousand, as recognized by the same head of research at the Refinery, Paola Orozco. She explained that the estimated savings were calculated by comparing the fuel consumption per kilometer in a case with LP gas and a car with gasoline in an average annual trip.
For Recope’s executive president, this exchange option generates savings that “is not negligible” and also in vehicle maintenance costs, but ignores that not all people can invest ¢ 800 thousand in this way.
Regarding the recommendation to use gasoline plus91 instead of super. Muñoz acknowledged that this is an option that many people cannot access either, since it depends on the characteristics of automobiles.
The president of RECOPE assures that in Costa Rica the vehicle fleet is made up of 60 percent of vehicles whose manual indicates that they can use regular gasoline that has between 88 and 91 octane, such as gasoline plus91.
The remaining 40 percent must use 95 octane hydrocarbons, such as super gasoline. However, the product distribution in sales indicates that both gasoline are sold almost equally, which means that there is a percentage of drivers who are using super gasoline (and paying more) without needing it.
“There is a part of consumers that having a vehicle that should use plus91 goes with a super and that hurts their economy and their private or family budget and it turns out that if these people, this percentage of people who constitute between 10 and 15 Percent of the vehicle fleet, using the gasoline that corresponds to it, that is to say the plus 91, would have a saving of ¢ 991 in the filling of an average tank”, said Muñoz.
For the Refinery manager, the advice they give is a “way to protect ourselves internally in the local market from fuel prices.” This past week a new increase in the price of hydrocarbons came into effect, which causes the current amounts to be the highest in the last seven years. In addition, it is already clear that the upward trend will continue in the coming months.