Americans Saving Nearly $350 Million a Day on Lower Gas Prices

Indianapolis, IN – Oct. 5, 2015 – Despite recent gas price swings throughout the Midwestern states, including Indiana, Americans, as a whole, are saving nearly $350 million a day on prices that are substantially lower than they were one year ago.

As of 3:45 this morning, the national average price for a gallon of self-serve regular unleaded was $2.29. One year ago today, Americans were paying an average of $3.30 per gallon.

Indiana’s statewide average is $2.43 compared to $3.21 on this day in 2014.

Though today’s national average is fractions of a penny higher than what it was at this time last week, overall, the nationwide average has moved lower 43 of the past 49 days. In fact, retail prices have declined 51 cents per gallon since reaching the 2015 peak price of $2.80 June 15.

Lower crude oil costs and ample gasoline supplies are being credited with this season’s price fall off. In addition, gas stations in many parts of the country switched over to less expensive winter-blend gasoline Sept. 16. As outside temperatures cool in the autumn, gasoline is less likely to evaporate and contribute to air quality issues. Producers can blend relatively inexpensive butane into the fuel to meet octane requirements this time of year. Butane is more likely to evaporate in hot temperatures and is not used in summer-blend gasoline.

Looking Back at September

  • The national average price of gas in September was $2.34 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since Feb. 2015. By comparison, the average price of gas in Sept. 2014 was $3.39 per gallon.
  • The national average declined 26 out of 30 days in Sept., 2015.

Midwest Fluctuations

Those living in the country’s Midwestern states have ridden a roller coaster of gas price swings in recent times, a trend uncomfortably common there throughout the last few years.

Ohio residents are paying 17 cents per gallon more than they were one month ago while gas prices in Michigan are 14 cents per gallon higher than at this time in Sept.

Hoosiers have noticed a nine-cent increase during the same timeframe.

According to industry representatives, averages in the Midwest have been recently under pressure due to both planned and unplanned maintenance at some of the region’s major refineries.

What about October?

The national average price of gas has fallen in October for three years in a row. Gas prices typically drop in October due to a seasonal decline in both driving and fuel demand.

Hurricanes are still a concern. Hurricanes have the potential to disrupt refinery production, pipeline transportation, wholesale deliveries and gas station operations. Small hurricanes on the East Coast generally have a very limited and brief impact on gas prices, while larger storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, can disrupt regional fuel supplies and distribution for a number of weeks.

Crude oil remains the primary wildcard in determining future gas prices. If OPEC cuts production, the Chinese economy grows stronger or if Iranian oil is unable to enter the market, then oil prices could rise and push up the cost of gasoline. There also is a possibility that oil prices could drop significantly in the coming months given the weaknesses in the global economy and because refineries conducting maintenance will need less crude oil.

AAA Fuel Price Help Drivers can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA updates fuel price averages daily at www.FuelGaugeReport.AAA.com. Every day up to 120,000 stations are surveyed based on credit card swipes and direct feeds in cooperation with the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Wright Express for unmatched statistical reliability.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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