Pumping gas
Pumping gas. Credit: Christine Stuart / CTNewsJunkie

Gas prices continue to drop in Connecticut, but remain higher than the national average. The price of a gallon of regular gasoline is down 78 cents over the month according to AAA, but Connecticut’s average is still $4.20 per gallon, while the national average is $4.03.

Consumers won’t see widespread prices quite that high, though, because the state has suspended its 25-cent gas tax through Nov. 30.

The suspension of fares on all public transit buses statewide has been extended through the same date.

Nationally, gas prices have dropped considerably from the record high on June 14, when a gallon of regular gas was an average of $5.01 across the country and $4.98 in Connecticut.

But that’s still higher than it was this time a year ago. The average price of a gallon of regular gas a year ago was $3.17 in Connecticut.

Today, according to user-reported prices in the GasBuddy app, the lowest price for a gallon of regular gas in Connecticut is $3.56. That’s the price reported at CITGO, 229 Talcottville Road in Vernon. Motorists also reported gas for $3.69 at two stations on Main Street in Rocky Hill.

Screengrab/composite from GasBuddy.com. Credit: Screengrab / Composite / GasBuddy

Despite gas prices continuously declining, American motorists are changing their driving habits during the peak summer season, according to AAA, which notes that oil costs have edged lower due to fears of economic slowdowns elsewhere in the world.

“Oil is the primary ingredient in gasoline, so less expensive oil is helpful in taming pump prices,” Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson said. “Couple that with fewer drivers fueling up, and you have a recipe for gas prices to keep easing. It’s possible that the national average will fall below $4 this week.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration, gas demand dropped from 9.25 million b/d to 8.54 million b/d last week. The rate is 1.24 million b/d lower than last year and is in line with the need at the end of July 2020, when COVID-19 restrictions were in place and fewer drivers hit the road.

AAA found that drivers made significant changes to cope with high pump prices. In a new survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults have changed their driving habits or lifestyle since March. Drivers’ top two changes to offset high gas prices are driving less and combining errands.