Reno motorists are paying a new record high price to fill up their gas tanks. The new record for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.32, breaking the previous record of $3.31 set on May 22, 2006, according to AAA Nevada, which tracks gasoline prices as a service to consumers.
The statewide average price for a gallon of regular self-serve is now $3.18. The record in Nevada is $3.21, also set last May. The current average is Las Vegas is $3.12. The record there was set last May at $3.18. The national average price is $2.98. The national record average is $3.08, set in September of 2005.
“Gas prices have risen this spring due to a series of refinery problems in the West,” said Michael Geeser, AAA Nevada spokesperson. “With seasonal maintenance winding down, prices are expected to level off. But that short period of stable prices will likely quickly change due to the upcoming summer driving period.”
The sharp rise in prices this spring can also be attributed to low inventory levels. The weekly fuel inventory report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration showed another decline in gasoline stockpiles despite a small rise in refinery output. This marks the 12th consecutive week in which the amount of gasoline in storage in the United States has declined.
“This has not been an easy spring for the motorist,” said Geeser. “When you add together strong demand for gasoline, refinery problems and lower inventories, prices are going to move higher.”
There are several ways drivers can increase their fuel efficiency. These include:
- Stick to regular unleaded. Don’t “treat” your car to higher priced premium fuel unless your car specifically requires it.
- Check your tires. Improperly inflated tires are a safety hazard and can cut fuel economy.
- De-junk the trunk. Carrying around infrequently used materials like sports equipment adds extra weight to your car and decreases fuel efficiency.
- Adjust your driving behavior. Maintain a steady speed; minimize braking by anticipating traffic conditions and travel at moderate speeds.
- Take care of your car. Dirty air filters increase fuel consumption. Defective radiator thermostats or a stuck brake caliper are also common maintenance issues that can contribute to wasted fuel.
Another way consumers can reduce the amount they spend on fuel is to shop aggressively for the lowest price. AAA Nevada has a tool that can help. Located online at AAA Fuel Finder, the AAA Fuel Finder has real time information on gas prices at more than 85,000 gas stations throughout the United States.