It’s only the second year for Matteo Pepe’s lawn care business, Local Lawns, but what a difference a year makes.
“Last year was really exciting to start with,” said Pepe.
Pepe has a one-man business, but putting gas in his truck and having enough for his gear costs around $250 a week, and he worried people would drop out of the service when he had to raise his prices.
“Everyone has been pretty understanding with it,” he said. “It makes it a lot easier when you talk to your customers and say, ‘Hey listen, prices have to go up, gas has gone up’ and they’re all like, ‘Yeah, that sucks but we get it.’ “
Lawn maintenance crew prepare to tackle a property on Pall Mall Street in London, Ontario. seen on June 15, 2022. (Gerry Dewan/CTV News London)Pepe learned the ropes working with Mike Turner and Hollywood Properties. The couple passed each other on the street and the conversation quickly turned to the best places to buy gas.
Turner has a larger operation, consuming more than $500 a week in fuel. He found a way to save a few dollars: let his diesel truck rest.
“I have two trucks that I can use. With diesel costing more at the moment, we just use the [Ford] F-150 instead for gas,” he said.
Diesel currently costs about $0.16 per liter more than regular gasoline.
Turner said the only bright spot is that prices went up before the start of lawn care season, but said if prices continue to climb it may need to have a tough discussion with customers. .
“Since the beginning of the season, prices have remained more or less stable, around the $2.00 mark. We’ll see how the rest of the year goes. If obviously things get out of control, you see $2.50 or more, we’ll just have to speak to them accordingly,” Turner said.
Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said we could see prices climb as high as $2.25 over the next few weeks.