The average gas price in North Carolina is 20 cents cheaper than a month ago, marking the lowest price in 2013.
Gas prices in North Carolina average $3.27, compared to $3.47 a month ago and $3.72 a year ago. Since reaching a summer high of $3.56 on July 21, which was spurred by concerns over the conflict in Egypt, gas prices have been steadily falling.
The last time gas was cheaper in North Carolina was on Dec. 26, 2012, when prices averaged $3.26.
“Falling gas prices is great news for drivers,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “We expect prices to continue trending downward, barring any major supply or distribution issues, such as tensions in the Middle East or a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The dramatic drop in gas prices is a result of decreased demand due to the end of the summer driving season, refineries’ switch to cheaper winter fuel blends and lower crude oil prices.
The current federal government shutdown also pressures prices downward, as furloughed workers aren’t commuting to jobs, resulting in even lower gas consumption. The Carolinas and the District of Columbia are both serviced by the Colonial Pipeline, which transports refined petroleum products up the East Coast.
AAA Carolinas expects that gas prices will continue to drop between now and Thanksgiving, typically the most heavily traveled four-day holiday and often a time when prices stabilize or rise slightly.
Fayetteville has the state’s lowest average price for a gallon of gas at $3.21; Asheville has the highest at $3.36. Charlotte averages $3.27, Greensboro/Winston-Salem averages $3.25, Raleigh/Durham averages $3.29 and Wilmington averages $3.28.
The national average is $3.35, 21 cents lower than a month ago and 46 cents lower than a year ago. Missouri has the cheapest gas in the country at $3.05; South Carolina has the second-cheapest gas at $3.09.