A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AAA: Pump price increases ease as demand dips; average gas price in KY back to $4.75

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by a penny to $5.00. According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 700,000 barrels to 217.5 million barrels last week.

Meanwhile, gasoline demand declined slightly from 9.2 million barrels a day to 9.09 million barrels a day. The slight drop in gas demand has helped to limit pump price increases. However, as crude oil prices remain volatile, the price per gallon for gasoline will likely remain elevated.

At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI had decreased by just 6 cents to settle at $115.25. Crude prices dropped midweek amid broad market concern regarding the potential for economic growth to slow after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised the interest rate by 0.75 percent. Slower than expected economic growth could cause crude demand to decline, leading prices to follow suit. Crude prices decreased after the EIA reported that total domestic stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels to 418.7 million barrels last week. As a result, the current storage level is only about 10 percent lower than a year ago.

(NKyTribune file)

Today’s national average retail price for a gallon of regular, self-service gasoline at $5.00 remained steady overnight, up just 2 cents in the past week, 48 cents in the past month, and $1.93 higher than one year ago.

Today’s average in Kentucky is 2 cents lower than yesterday, now at $4.75. That’s 4 cents lower than where it was one week ago. Today’s average is 50 cents more than a month ago and $1.85 more than a year ago.

The average gas price in Lexington is down 1 cent from yesterday, also $4.75. Lexington’s current gas price average is down 3 cents on the week. Ashland’s average gas price is steady overnight, currently $4.80. That’s 1 cent lower than a week ago.

Around the Commonwealth, the highest gas prices can be found in northern and eastern Kentucky. The highest average gas prices can be found in Pendleton County at $4.99, followed by Boone at $4.97, and Campbell and Kenton at $4.96. The cheapest spot for gas in the commonwealth today can be found in Henderson County at $4.40.

Checking nearby, the average price for a gallon of unleaded today in Ohio is at $5.01, West Virginia $4.92, Virginia $4.84, Tennessee $4.61, Indiana $5.17, Illinois $5.53 and Missouri $4.67.

Across the nation, the high spot continues to be California, now averaging $6.42 a gallon.

The low spots are in Georgia, averaging $4.49, followed by Mississippi at $4.51.

AAA offers the following advice to help drivers save at the pump:

• A vehicle that’s been maintained will help you maximize your miles per gallon. Make routine veh57icle inspections a part of your regular routine. Plus, here’s a step you can take on your own: make sure your tires are properly inflated. Underinflated tires are a drag on fuel economy. Check tire pressure at least every other week and more often this time of year, when temperatures are fluctuating.

• Find the shortest route to your destination and map it out before you go to minimize unnecessary turnarounds, idling and backtracking. Avoid peak traffic times because you get zero miles to the gallon when you’re sitting still in traffic. If possible go to “one-stop shops” where you can do multiple tasks (banking, shopping, etc.).

• Fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase. Reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%. Surpassing the posted speed limit is not only against the law and increases the risk of crash severity, but also reduces your gas mileage.
• A car engine consumes one quarter to one-half gallon of fuel per hour when idling, but a warm engine only takes around 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. Where safe to do so, shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute. Remember, idling gets you 0 miles to the gallon.

• Use “fast pass” or “express” toll lanes to avoid unnecessary stops or slowdowns on the highway.

• Only use premium gas in vehicles that recommend or require it. Paying for premium gas for a vehicle that takes regular is a waste of money and is of no benefit to the vehicle.

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