With gas prices remaining high throughout the summer, some hope may be on the horizon for motorist in western Pennsylvania.
Demand for fuel is lower this year than in 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration. This, combined with annual trends in seasonal pricing, may mean a decrease in prices at the pump is on the way.
The change in demand may be due to the increased transmission of COVID-19 with the delta variant, which can dissuade some travelers from vacations and lengthier rides this season. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel spending was down by 15% nationally in June of this year. The rise of the delta variant also caused a negative impact on the plans of one in four people this summer.
The Global Business Association says 68% of businesses will be ready to resume travel in the next three months, and these numbers are likely to change with a return to offices and associated travel.
Despite a lower demand for travel, prices remained high due to the elevated prices of crude oil globally. While demand has decreased by roughly 500,000 barrels since 2019, these high prices on barrels of oil have kept gas prices elevated.
Compared to 2019, gas prices have increased more than $1 per gallon in western Pennsylvania in each county. The average total cost of a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $3.27 across the state as of Aug. 25, with prices varying by county taxes.
While prices have remained high during this time, the end of the summer season also marks an annual decrease in gasoline prices nationwide. Trends show that prices often decrease after the summer holidays and beginning of the school year.
These seasonal factors and low demand could see prices start to slowly fall across the area. The past week has also seen a significant decrease in the price of crude oil, making the production of gasoline easier for companies across the nation.
While prices are high, AAA recommends combining trips for errands and reducing the weight inside your car to conserve gasoline. Additionally, shopping around for gasoline and utilizing rewards programs when filling up your tank can shave some of the cost off of your total.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.timesonline.com/story/news/2021/08/25/local-gas-prices-falling-summer-ends/5588700001/