Kentuckians enjoy early summer savings at the pump

LEXINGTON — Kentuckians hitting the road for summer vacations are finding some good news at the pump. The average price for regular unleaded has dropped a dime since last week, settling at $2.54. Today’s average gas price in Kentucky is 25 cents less than it was a year ago.

In Lexington, prices dropped 16 cents on the week, landing at $2.55. Prices for the metro averaged $2.69 one year ago.

Nearly every state’s gas price average is lower than a week ago, a month ago and a year ago. The national average is $2.74, which is seven-cents cheaper than last week, 13-cents less than a month ago and 18 cents cheaper than a year ago.

“Refinery utilization in the United States is at its highest level since early January, resulting in overall gasoline stocks at healthy levels to meet robust summer demand. Prices are dropping due to lower-cost crude oil and at the same time, U.S. supply is keeping pace with demand,” said Lori Weaver Hawkins, manager, public and government affairs. “The national average is poised to fall to at least $2.70 this week — an indication that pump prices may be even cheaper this summer.”

For the last three weeks, demand has remained relatively robust at 9.4 million barrels per day. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks have increased weekly, with total inventories at nearly 4 million barrels ahead of the five-year average, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

Gas prices fell in most metro areas of Kentucky, including the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox area which saw prices fall a dime in the past week. Most areas in southwestern Kentucky are trending lower than counties in eastern Kentucky, although there are some exceptions.

AAA offers these tips to motorists to save at the pump:

• Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.

• Anticipate your stops. When approaching a red light, let your foot off the gas as early as possible.

• In summer, drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.

• Use air conditioning. Today’s air conditioners create less drag on the engine than driving with the windows open.

• Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.

• Keep the air filter clean. Clogged filters reduce fuel economy and increase exhaust emissions.

• Drive the speed limit.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.