Cary, NC – As Summer winds down, it appears demand for gasoline is as well, leading to a gradual dip in gas prices across Cary and the Triangle.
September Leads to Lower Prices
Gasoline prices in Cary and North Carolina at large have been unusual this Summer, never spiking as much as most Summers while still staying significantly higher than past years because the market never totally recovered from the late 2017 hurricanes. The whole time, North Carolina has been slightly below average for gas prices nationwide.
But now, with Summer ending, it looks like local gas prices are dropping at the same time.
“Compared to July, consumer demand for gasoline is going down and prices are following suit,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “We expect the average in both North and South Carolina to keep moving lower, especially with the switchover to lower grade gasoline in September.”
That lower grade gasoline refers to the Winter blend. Summer blend gasoline has additives to make it burn cleaner and contribute less to Summer smog and ozone degradation, but those same additives make it slightly more expensive. The Winter blend does not have these additives and so this lower grade gasoline is cheaper. The Winter blend also evaporates at a lower temperature so cars can still operate when the engine is colder.
Looking at Local Prices
Right now, the average price of regular grade gasoline in the Cary-Raleigh area is $2.67 per gallon, which is down from last week at $2.70 per gallon. The state average is about $2.66 per gallon. Interestingly, while our metro area has been among the lowest prices of any similar urban area this season, currently we are among the most expensive, with only Asheville coming in with a higher average.
Wake County in general has median prices while the most expensive gasoline is in the far Western part of the state or the Northeast counties on the Outer Banks.
While prices are starting to drop now, the average price of gasoline right now is still nearly 50 cents more expensive than it was this same time last year.
As always, to beat high gas prices, Cary citizens can take the local bus routes or bike/run/walk using the town’s network of greenways.
Story by staff reports. Photos by AAA Carolinas and Mike Mozart.