VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, (September 4, 2014) – In Virginia today, the current average price is $3.18 which is 12 cents less than a month ago and 20 cents less than a year ago. The Hampton Roads currently average price $3.22, 16 cents less than a month ago and 18 cents less than a year ago.
Today’s national average price of gas is $3.43 per gallon. Consumers this week are paying the lowest average prices since late February. Today’s average is about 16 cents per gallon cheaper than a year ago and the lowest average for this day since 2010. The national average has remained under $3.50 per gallon for 31 consecutive days.
Gasoline demand and prices generally fall in September through the end of the year as people drive less and because refineries can produce less expensive winter-blend gasoline. AAA expects gas prices nationally could decline another 10-20 cents per gallon by the end of October.
“The big crunch in summer travel is over and most of us can look forward to lower gas prices during the next few months,” said Georjeane Blumling, AAA spokesman. “If we can get through September without any major refinery or overseas problems, we may see more gas stations drop below $3.00 per gallon this fall.”
Last year, U.S. driving declined nearly 10 percent in September compared to August, according to the Federal Highway Administration. The decline in driving during cooler months helps to reduce gasoline demand. In addition, refineries will begin to sell less expensive winter-blend gasoline in many parts of the country on September 15, which should further push prices down.
Refineries in many regions are required to produce more expensive summer-blend gasoline during warm-weather months to prevent air pollution and smog. As the weather grows cooler, this gasoline blend is no longer required.
The Atlantic hurricane season reaches a peak around September 10. Major hurricanes can disrupt oil production, refinery facilities and pipelines, which can lead to significantly higher gas prices. In 2012 for example, Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana and the brief closure of refineries helped increase the national average price of gas price by 11 cents per gallon over nine days.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 325,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia