Gas prices has always been a hot topic of conversation among many for decades. The topic is a hit at the water cooler at the office, with your in-laws, among friends, or just about anywhere, because it is something we are all always hyper aware of. Most people who drive have obviously seen the price at the pump and then any who do not drive will notice the price increase their ride share cost. Especially in the last couple of decades, gas price conversations have increased as they are often indicative of other issues internationally. In the last few years, conversations most often ranged in the “the price is too damn high” realm. However, we are actually starting to see the price at the pump start to decrease for the first time in months.
Oftentimes, prices tend to fall as we seasonally transition, but there may be a few other factors this time around.
As of last week, the national average for a gallon of gas, according to AAA reported data, was less than $3.25. This number is 25 cents less than last month and 30 cents less than this same time last year. This decrease has been surprisingly a steady oncoming decrease for a couple of months. Since the second half of September, around the 19th of the month, the price has been on a decline, lower cent by cent weekly.
The petroleum experts at GasBuddy have said that around $3.8 million has been saved in total amongst drivers thanks to these decreases. With this in mind in comparison to the difference in the national average this year versus last year, the difference is astounding and impactful.
The largest reason for the decrease lies in the seasonal change as we go from summer to winter fuel blends.
The winter blend of fuel is typically less expensive to make than the summer blend typically used. However, these less expensive numbers at the gas station can also be explained away by the less frequent driving. With the time change of daylight savings ending along with naturally daylight ending earlier, people spend less time driving around. Many do not like to drive in the dark and hence will simply not drive once the day ends. This lower usage and lower demand help lower the cost.
Furthermore, the last key factor that contributes to the lower costs we are seeing right now lies in inflation changes that typically also change seasonally, especially this year.