A gas company in Minnesota has implemented an innovative scheme which permits paying members to enjoy major savings on their fuel costs via futures transactions.
First Fuel Banks, owned by East Side Oil Companies, allows end users to pre-purchase gas in bulk as part of what essentially amounts to a futures transaction, with buyers pledging to purchase set volumes in the future for preordained prices.
Customers pay a nominal membership fee of $1, after which point they are able to make use of the company's fully automated fuel banks and purchase bulk volumes of gas in advance.
According to some customers the new scheme has enabled them to fuel their cars for less than $1.00/gal while the standard gas rate hovers at almost $4.00/gal.
The fuel banks have been in operation since the start of the 1980's following the development of computer technology which made the possibility of a fully automated fuel bank feasible, and the company has already established several outlets in the city of St. Cloud.