A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AAA: Update on gas prices shows demand a bit lower and some relief at the pump; KY down 11 cents

Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has decreased by 5 cents to $4.84. Due to the delayed release of the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report on gasoline supply and demand last week, the federal agency released two weeks of data Wednesday that showed gasoline demand decreased each week.

Gas demand currently sits at 8.93 million barrels a day, which is lower than last year’s rate of 9.11 million barrels a day at the end of June. On the other hand, total domestic gasoline stocks increased by 2.6 million barrels to 221.6 million barrels. These supply/demand dynamics and decreasing oil prices have pushed pump prices lower. As these trends continue, drivers will likely continue to see relief at the pump.

At the close of Thursday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $4.02 to settle at $105.76. Crude prices continue to face strong headwinds amid broad market concern over the potential for slowing, or even stalling, economic growth due to rising interest rates and inflation. A lower economic growth rate than expected could cause crude demand to decline, leading prices to follow suit. Additionally, EIA reported that total domestic crude stocks decreased by 2.7 million barrels to 415.6 million barrels last week, which is nearly 37 million barrels lower than at the end of June 2021, contributing to price volatility.

The national average price for a gallon of regular, self-service gasoline at $4.84 is 1 cent lower overnight, down 8 cents in the past week, but 17 cents higher on the month and $1.72 higher than one year ago.

The average in Kentucky is 2 cents lower than yesterday, now at $4.55. That’s 11 cents lower than where it was one week ago. Today’s average is 13 cents more than a month ago and $1.61 more than a year ago.

The average gas price in Lexington is down 1 cent from yesterday, trending slightly higher than the state average at $4.63. Lexington’s current gas price average is down 6 cents on the week. Ashland’s average gas price held steady overnight, currently $4.77. That’s a penny higher than a week ago.

The highest average gas prices can be found in Kenton County at $4.86, followed by Campbell and Jefferson, both at $4.90. The cheapest spot for gas in the commonwealth today can be found in Graves County at $4.16.

Checking nearby, the average price for a gallon of unleaded today in Ohio is at $4.78, West Virginia $4.80, Virginia $4.65, Tennessee $4.46, Indiana $4.92, Illinois $5.37 and Missouri $4.56.

Across the nation, the high spot continues to be California, now averaging 7 cents lower than a week ago at $6.27 a gallon. California remains the only state with an average gas price above $5.60.

The low spots are in Georgia and South Carolina, both averaging $4.35, followed by Mississippi at $4.37.

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 vehicle 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 preferably weekly.
• 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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