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Retail Fuel Report and Data for California

The Petroleum Industry Information Reporting Act (PIIRA) requires all retail service stations in California to file a Retail Fuel Outlet Annual Report (CEC-A15) and report retail sales of gasoline, diesel and other transportation fuels. Sales data reported does not include commercial fleets, government entities, private cardlocks (facilities open only to participating companies and not the general public), or rental facilities/equipment yards.

For the 2012 calendar year, there were approximately 10,000 retail fueling stations in California. Among this number includes different types of retail fueling stations, such as service stations, hypermarkets, truck stops, public card locks, and airports. Station population varies due to the opening of new stations, closures of existing stations and consolidations/changes of ownership.

The following charts and graphs are based on actual reported data and where noted, derived data from the A15 retail fuel report. For 2012, the California Energy Commission analyzed approximately 8,050 station reports and estimated the total station population is 10,000 stations, plus or minus 30 stations. Statewide total estimates are calculated using a statistical method of resampling with replacement referred to as "bootstrapping."

Retail Station Summary

The following tables summarize the sales volumes and retail station counts for various fuels reported on the A15 for 2009-2012. For station counts, some fuel facilities sell more than one type of fuel and are counted multiple times. Because these values are based on survey responses, the total number of actual stations and sales volumes is greater per each fuel. Natural gas represents both liquid natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG).

Count of Retail Fuel Station by Fuel - Survey Responses

Reporting Year Gasoline Diesel E851 Propane Natural Gas

Retail Sales Volumes - Survey Responses (Million Gallons)

Reporting Year Gasoline Diesel E851 Propane Natural Gas

1 According to the Air Resources Board (ARB), E-85 dispensed, in California, averages 83 percent ethanol and 17 percent gasoline.


Retail Fueling Stations by Station Type

The table below reports the percentages of fueling stations by station type in 2012, based on A15 responses. 90 percent of fueling facilities are service stations and the remaining 10 percent are other types of facilities, some of which cater to specific transportation sectors, such as watercraft for marinas.

Percetage of
Gas Station/Service Station90%
Truck Stop1%


Diesel Sales

In 2012, total diesel sales were 3.30 billion gallons, while retail sales were estimated to be 48 percent of total sales. The majority, 52 percent, of diesel sales are divided into two categories of non-retail taxable and non-taxable sales.

  • Taxable retail sales: These sales occur to individual end-users at retail stations, including truck stops. This is the only category of sales reflected by the A-15 survey, and totaled 1.45 billion gallons in 2011.
  • Taxable non-retail sales: This type of diesel is typically consumed by commercial fleets and totaled 1.01 billion gallons in 2011.
  • Non-taxable sales: Includes "dyed" diesel intended for construction vehicles, farm diesel and other off-road uses, totaling 0.8 billion gallons in 2011.

The chart below illustrates the breakdown of diesel sales in terms of retail and non-retail sales. Only taxable retail diesel sales are reflected in the A-15 survey.

Categorized Diesel Sales in California, 2012. Taxable Retail Sales = 48%, Taxable Non-Retail Sales = 27%, Non-Taxable Non-Retail Sales = 25%


2012 Fast Facts:

  • The estimated total number of retail stations in California decreased from 10,030 stations in 2011 to 10,000 in 2012.

2012 Fast Facts - Gasoline:

  • Estimated total gasoline retail sales totaled 14.49 billion gallons in 2012.
  • The average gasoline sales per station were 1.58 million gallons, or 132,000 gallons per month.
  • The top 1% of reporting retail gasoline stations in California sold approximately 7% of the total gasoline. The average gasoline sales per station of the top 1% was 11.79 million gallons, or 980,000 gallons per month.
  • The top 21% of reporting retail gasoline stations in California sold half of the total gasoline. The average of gasoline sales per station of the top 21% was 3.73 million gallons, or 311,000 gallons per month.

2012 Fast Facts - Diesel:

  • The percentage of reporting stations which sell diesel fuel gradually increased from 45% in 2008 to 50% in 2012.
  • The average diesel sales per station were 0.34 million gallons, or 28,000 gallons per month.
  • In 2012, estimated taxable retail diesel sales were 1.59 billion gallons, out of a total 3.30 billion gallons of diesel sold.
  • Approximately 48% of the estimated diesel sales and nearly all the gasoline sales in California were at the retail level.
  • The top 1% of reporting retail diesel stations in California sold approximately 31% of the total retail diesel. The average of diesel sales per station of the top 1% was 10.5 million gallons, or 875,000 gallons per month.
  • The top 3% of reporting diesel stations sold half the retail diesel. The average of diesel sales per station of the top 3.0% was 5.67 million gallons, or 473,000 gallons per month.



Total taxable sales volumes of gasoline in California are available from the California Board of Equalization (BoE). Staff uses this data as a benchmark for gasoline consumption after minor adjustments to account for rebates and audit adjustments. The A15 reported gasoline volumes totaled 2.25 billion gallons less than the BoE volumes because A15 reports are not received from all stations.

Using a statistical resampling methodology staff estimated the total gasoline station population needed to match the gasoline volumes reported by BoE. The method of resampling (or bootstrapping) refers to a computer-aided statistical method which uses a subset of data from a population to estimate statistics such as the mean, variance or percentiles pertaining to the population as a whole

To implement this resampling method, staff first estimated the number of retail stations operating in California for a given year using the staff-adjusted gasoline sales data from BoE as a calibration target. The projected station counts were then used to extrapolate total retail diesel sales volumes statewide. State results were in turn used to estimate the gasoline and diesel sales at the county level, along with how many stations are estimated to be operating in each county. The results are reflected in the charts and tables on the subsequent web pages.

Overall station count totals have a margin of error of +/- 30 stations at the 95% confidence level. Projected retail fuel sales have a margin of error of +/- 6 million gallons (less than half a percent) at the 95% confidence level.

Stations Reported and Projected Station Counts by County

Retail Gasoline Sales by County

Retail Diesel Sales by County