Great Lakes and Central States: Gasoline stocks and regional refinery utilization have seen mostly weekly increases, with the exception of a few, throughout the summer. Moving into the fall, refinery utilization will likely slow as demand hits a post-summer slump and refineries make the switch to winter-blend gasoline production and undergo planned maintenance. Prices should push cheaper, but that won’t stop the typically volatile region from being susceptible to sudden price shocks
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Total gas stocks in the region sit at 61 million bbl, which is 3 million bbl less than last year this time. Part of the year-over-year deficit stems from the pending closure of Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the largest refinery on the East Coast. This would usually lead to a spike in gas prices. However, gasoline imports are easing supply concerns and keeping retail gasoline prices moving lower. Though any further supply disruptions could cause prices in the region to spike temporarily.
South and Southeast: This summer, the region has averaged a gasoline stock level of nearly 84 million bbl, with healthy regional refinery utilization rates, which have helped keep gas prices low. Motorists in the South and Southeast can expect to find savings at the pump this fall, potentially even under $2/gallon by year-end, barring any major hurricanes.
Rockies: Typically gas prices skew their highest for the Rockies region during summer tourism season. That was no different this year. However, prices were significantly cheaper than summer 2018 – Utah and Idaho’s averages priced under $3/gallon for all of July, compared to a high of $3.22 in 2018. As the tourist season winds down and demand slows, gas prices may see some fluctuation, but overall, motorists can expect prices to remain steady as gasoline stocks sit at their highest level – 7.5 million bbl – recorded by the EIA for the month of August.
Boost your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency
In addition to cheaper gas prices, there are other ways to save at the pump and boost your vehicle’s fuel efficiency this fall.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Americans drive an average 11,498 miles per year, and annual per-vehicle gasoline use totals approximately 462 gallons. Poorly maintained vehicles are less efficient and use more fuel. To maintain fuel efficiency for your car, AAA recommends checking the owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule, and keep the following in mind:
- Perform required maintenance as specified. Keeping tires properly inflated, moving components adequately lubricated, and ignition and emission systems in good operating condition will help ensure maximum fuel efficiency and extend the life of your vehicle.
- Change engine oil at the intervals indicated by the in-car maintenance reminder system or factory schedule. Use an “energy-conserving” oil that meets the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.
- Keep tires inflated at the proper pressure. Use the figures on the tire information decal on the driver’s door jamb — not the one molded into the tire’s sidewall. Under-inflated tires reduce fuel economy and can be a safety hazard.
- Check the engine air filter at every oil change. A dirty filter won’t affect fuel economy on a modern fuel-injected car, but it will reduce engine performance.
- Engine spark plugs must be in good condition. Some types last for 100,000 miles, but others need to be replaced more often.