The national average price of gas has increased by two cents over the past week to $2.22 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, according to the latest report from AAA.
Despite the slight increase in average pump prices, AAA says that drivers continue to benefit from significant savings compared to recent years. Today's national average is the lowest it's been for this date since 2006, and is 72 cents per gallon less than it was one year ago.
According to AAA, this year's autumn refinery maintenance season continues to make headlines for its impact on regional markets. AAA says that refinery utilization is reportedly beginning to return to normal rates; however, select regional markets are still under pressure as a result of the sheer volume of planned maintenance combined with unplanned outages. AAA points out that, although gasoline demand typically retreats during the month of November, which could offset any major spikes in price due to supply shortages, unplanned outages could create volatility and put pressure on the national average in the near term.
Drivers in six states are paying an average below $2 per gallon to refuel their vehicles. Consumers in South Carolina and Alabama continue to pay the lowest prices at the pump, with statewide averages of $1.95 and $1.96 per gallon, respectively.
Motorists in Hawaii are paying the highest pump prices, with a statewide average price of $2.87 per gallon. Joining Hawaii on the most expensive end of the spectrum—California ($2.84), Nevada ($2.71), Washington ($2.51) and Oregon ($2.40).
For the sixth consecutive week, AAA reports that all statewide averages are below $3 per gallon and only four states are currently posting averages above $2.50 per gallon.
North Carolina's current statewide average of $2.14 per gallon is seven cents higher than it was just one week ago.