When will gas prices go back down?

Consumer Watch

(Getty images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN )- People in North Carolina and across the country have dug painfully deeper into their pockets to fill up gas tanks recently.

Gas Buddy reported that while gas prices in the Raleigh area have dropped a few cents in the last week, the average price is still higher than a month ago and a year ago.

The current average price per gallon as of Monday morning was $3.26 per gallon. The cheapest gas in the state on Monday was an Exxon in Sharpsburg with fuel at $2.56 per gallon.

“Not only are we seeing the increase in gas prices in the U.S. but this is a global phenomenon as the price of oil has gone up. This has affected not just the U.S. but anyone filling up their tank regardless of what country they’re in,” said Patrick De Haan, a petroleum analyst at Gas Buddy.

De Haan said this Thanksgiving Americans will likely be paying more for gas than they have since 2014.

“I think the best guess is now Thanksgiving prices, maybe a few cents lower, maybe a little higher than today, but not much change between now and Thanksgiving,” said De Haan.

Below are the average North Carolina prices for Nov. 8 going back to 2011 according to Gas Buddy.

  • 2020: $1.97/g (U.S. Average: $2.09/g)
  • 2019: $2.45/g (U.S. Average: $2.63/g)
  • 2018: $2.61/g (U.S. Average: $2.72/g)
  • 2017: $2.42/g (U.S. Average: $2.56/g)
  • 2016: $2.19/g (U.S. Average: $2.20/g)
  • 2015: $2.15/g (U.S. Average: $2.22/g)
  • 2014: $2.85/g (U.S. Average: $2.93/g)
  • 2013: $3.20/g (U.S. Average: $3.20/g)
  • 2012: $3.33/g (U.S. Average: $3.46/g)
  • 2011: $3.37/g (U.S. Average: $3.41/g)

A slow bounce-back

The increases in gas could be partly blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic. As demand dropped in early 2020, production also slowed. With the country now reopened and people leaving their houses more, production has been slow to catch back up.

“Oil companies are really, really still a few months behind here on increasing production,” De Haan said

It means these prices may be here to stay even through 2022.

“This is not something that you’re going to wake up and, you know, at Christmas prices are going to be much lower. This may be kind of a new higher price trend for gas prices,” said De Haan.

So how can you save money in the meantime?

De Haan said there are three ways you may be able to save at the pump.

  1. Check prices before you drive off. Download the Gas Buddy app or any other gas price comparison app in your phone. It will save you the frustration of filling up on gas only to drive by a cheaper gas station up the road.
  2. Make sure you’re getting cash back or points at the pump. Many bank cards or rewards programs may offer cash back incentives or points that can turn into a few cents off per gallon.
  3. Just slow down. The more pressure you put on the gas pedal, the more fuel you’ll burn through.

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