A year ago today, fuel prices in Georgia peaked at a staggering $4.17 per gallon of regular gasoline.
Today, on average a gallon of regular fuel costs around $2.35. The dramatic price reduction has been appreciated by everyone, especially Gainesville resident David Souther.
“We have a disabled child and have to drive to Emory (Children’s Center) at least four times a month,” Souther said as he was gassing up Monday for a trip to the Atlanta facility. “Last year, we spent around $9,000 for gas alone.”
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is around $2.53.
Fuel prices began to increase dramatically late last year for several reasons — including strikes from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav affecting oil refining processes in the Gulf Coast areas.
During the months in 2008 when gas prices sky-rocketed, many area gas stations had issues maintaining fuel supplies and meeting customer demands. Now, most say those issues are a thing of the past.
“It’s not a problem now, prices keep going down and that’s bringing in more customers,” say Jay Dossani, owner of Jay’s Food Mart on Thompson Bridge Road. “I think that it will continue going down. I hope we could see prices below $1.99 a gallon.”
As the gas prices have dropped, Dossani says he has seen more residents coming in to gas up their boats.
“Labor Day was a good one this year; we saw a lot of boats coming through for gas,” he said.
Lower gas prices means more revenue generated for area gas stations, which is important during the cooler months when fewer people are gassing up for road trips.
“Winter is the worst time for us. Usually alcohol sales help (gas stations) out during that time, but since we are so close to a church we can’t sell it,” Dossani said. “So we need low gas prices.”
Today’s gas prices are lower than they have been in a month, but even as prices drop the AAA has advice on how consumers can conserve fuel. Besides the usual carpooling and taking advantage of public transportation, AAA officials are also encouraging drivers to try “trip-chaining.” Trip chaining is the process of combining errands into one trip and mapping out the most efficient route.