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Americans Saved $14 Billion on Gasoline this Year

Americans Saved $14 Billion on Gasoline this Year

(WASHINGTON, December 31, 2014)

Americans Saved $14 Billion on Gasoline this Year Compared to 2013

  • AAA estimates that Americans saved about $14 billion on gasoline this year compared to 2013, based on monthly prices and consumption. U.S. households in 2014 saved an average of about $115 on gasoline compared to the previous year. The majority of these savings came during the last few months of 2014. Consumers saved an even larger $22 billion on gasoline compared to 2012.
  • “U.S. drivers ended the year on a high-note with gas prices plummeting over the last few months,” said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. ”Cheaper gas prices have helped to improve the economy by boosting both consumer confidence and disposable income.”
  • The annual average price of gasoline in 2014 was $3.34 per gallon, which was about 15 cents less than last year’s annual average of $3.49 per gallon. In other recent years, gas prices have averaged $3.60 (2012), $3.51 (2011) and $2.78 (2010).
  • The highest daily national average of the year was $3.70 per gallon on April 28, while the lowest was $2.26 per gallon on December 31.
  • The cheapest gas prices were in South Carolina for the third year in a row, which had an annual average of $3.10 per gallon. The next lowest annual averages included: Missouri ($3.11), Mississippi ($3.12), Tennessee ($3.13) and Arkansas ($3.14).
  • Hawaii had the most expensive gas prices in 2014 with an annual average of $4.16 per gallon. The next highest annual averages included: Alaska ($3.84), California ($3.75), Connecticut ($3.65) and New York ($3.65).

Gas Prices Have Dropped a Record-Breaking 97 Days in a Row

  • Today’s national average price of gas is $2.26 per gallon, which is the lowest average since May 12, 2009. The national average price of gas has dropped for 97 consecutive days, which is the longest streak on record. Average gas prices have dropped every day since September 25 for a total of $1.09 per gallon.
  • The average price of gas has dropped below $2.00 per gallon in four states for the first time since 2009: Missouri ($1.897), Oklahoma ($1.959), Ohio ($1.988) and Indiana ($1.999). Seven additional states have average prices within a dime of that mark.
  • U.S. average gas prices have declined $1.44 per gallon (39 percent) since reaching a high of $3.70 per gallon on April 28.
    • The national average price of gas in December was $2.51 per gallon, which was the lowest monthly average since May 2009. The average in December 2013 was $3.26 per gallon. Consumers this month spent about $215 million per day less on gasoline compared to December 2013.
    • Today’s national average price of gas is $1.06 per gallon less than a year ago. Many drivers are saving $15-$30 every time they go to the gas station compared to a year ago.
  • The five states with the lowest average prices today include: Missouri ($1.897), Oklahoma ($1.959), Ohio ($1.988), Indiana ($1.999) and Michigan ($2.000). The five states with the highest prices today include: Hawaii ($3.518), Alaska ($3.061), New York ($2.785) Vermont ($2.703) and Connecticut ($2.672).

Gas Prices Likely to Remain Relatively Cheap throughout 2015

  • The national average price of gas may remain less than $3.00 per gallon in 2015. However, there are significant uncertainties regarding what may happen with crude oil costs next year, which makes it difficult to predict future gas prices.
  • “Next year promises to provide much bigger savings to consumers as long as crude oil remains relatively cheap,” continued Ash. “It would not be surprising for U.S. consumers to save $50-$75 billion on gasoline in 2015 if prices remain low.”
  • The national average price of gas may drop another 10 cents per gallon during the next two weeks as retail prices catch up with the steep declines in the cost of crude oil. Gasoline could drop even further if the cost of crude oil continues to fall.
  • There is significant uncertainty over the potential cost of crude oil in 2015. The market believes there is a global glut of crude oil and petroleum products due to rising North American production and lower than forecast demand overseas. In addition, Saudi Arabia has reportedly encouraged lower oil prices in order to better compete with U.S. shale oil production.
  • Abundant supplies could result in crude oil prices dropping even further during the first quarter of 2015. Nevertheless, lower prices could disrupt U.S. oil production by reducing profits, or it could increase instability in other oil producing countries. In addition, it is possible that the global economy could grow more strongly than expected, which would increase petroleum demand. These factors make it difficult to forecast both crude oil and gasoline prices for 2015.
  • If oil prices stabilize, then seasonal supply and demand factors for gasoline may yet again dominate. For example, gas prices may begin to increase within a month or so as refinery maintenance season begins. Gas prices typically rise about 30-50 cents per gallon during the spring refinery maintenance season due to decreased production and tighter supplies. During this period, it is possible that some states, particularly in the Northeast and West Coast, could see average prices rise back above $3.00 per gallon. Similarly, gas prices may rise in the summer due to strong demand as Americans take long road trips.

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. All average retail prices in this report are for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline. For more information, contact Michael Green at 202-942-2082,mgreen@national.aaa.com

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