TOLEDO (WTOL) - Gas prices are still low right now, the best you've probably seen lately, but timing maybe running out for a cheap fill-up.
New studies say gas prices can't stay this low and will likely go up to three dollars this year.
Gas Buddy released a report saying gas will likely climb back up in the three dollar range.
Local gas expert, Chris Ventura, the Executive Director of the Consumer Energy Alliance explained when and why.
Just a few short months ago he said gas prices would stay down through the holidays due to elements like a lower dependency for gas in this country in part because of more fuel efficient vehicles and higher US oil production. Ventura was right; the cost of a gallon of gas remained low through year-end 2018.
With those factors still in-tact, we’re all wondering why the increase is still being projected.
Ventura explains, right now, more crude oil is being produced than what can be consumed. In other words, the supply is too high for the demand, and it's costing more to produce the oil than what it's being sold for.
So OPEC and its Russia-led allies have agreed to take one point two million barrels off the market over the next 6 months, which over time will raise the price of a gallon.
Gas Buddy is reporting 2019 has been harder than recent years to project, and it is likely that three dollar peak won’t last into the winter months.
This kind of hike is an inconvenience, but can really impact whether some people can afford to even leave the house.
As Larry Franco of east Toledo points out, it’s toughest on people like his aging parents.
“It’s hard on the elderly people. Like my mother and father are elderly, but they still drive, you know I’m grateful for that to still have them in my life, and seeing them still get around,” he said.
Steve Parker drives a taxi cab and his rates don’t vary with the market.
“I’m going to wind up paying $45 to $50 a day just in gas and I work for commission so it’s going to be tough if it goes up to three dollars,” Parker explained.
There’s also a possibility if the Federal gas tax goes up that will impact gas prices. Congress has been working on an infrastructure bill for some time now, that if passed, could impose more taxes.
Jason Rodemich drives from Bowling Green to east Toledo every day for his job at a childcare center. A raise in gas prices would hit him in the pocketbook.
“It takes me about a half hour to get here, so I’m going to have to ask the boss for a raise," said Rodemich.
Our expert Chris Ventura said, when refineries change over to the summer blend we see a 10 or 20 cent increase nearly every year. Summer production and refinery inspections always increases the price too.
Since you can’t really stock up on gas, and it’s not a good idea to try to, he recommends trying to put away some of the money you’re saving on gas now, for that rainy day later this year when you’ll need it.