Utah’s gasoline prices have been falling a bit in recent weeks, but the state’s average remains the 11th-highest nationwide, a new report shows.
The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Utah on Wednesday was $3.72, down two cents in the past week but up 2 cents from one month ago, according to travel-services agency AAA Utah.
Nationally, prices are down substantially over the past month. The average is $3.54, off 3 cents from one week ago and 19 cents from one month ago.
“Prices in Utah haven’t changed much in recent months, but prices in most of the rest of the country have dropped,” said Rolayne Fairclough, AAA spokeswoman.
Costs at the pump in Utah tend to move in the opposite way of national trends, sometimes in unexplainable fashion. But they do often follow a cycle of generally being among the lowest in the country in winter months and among the highest during all or part of the summer.
“We’re in the typical high-prices-in-the-summer routine in Utah,” Fairclough said. Experts are divided over the reasons why the cycle persists year after year, although they point to the Wasatch Front being a high-demand travel corridor in the summer months leading to national parks, recreation areas and other tourism destinations in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Plumber Kevin Barkdull said that higher prices can make the warmer months tough. “We just don’t make [as much] money during the summer,” he said. “It definitely costs more [to operate our vehicles] with the price of gas being so high.”
Barkdull, of Kevin Barkdull Plumbling in Centerville, said he tries to lessen the impact by better coordinating trips to new-home construction sites and economizing wherever he can.
As with most everything, it pays to shop around because prices can vary widely, even among stations close to one another. A gas station in Riverton was selling unleaded for $3.48 per gallon on Wednesday, according to gas-price comparison website UtahGasPrices.com. A station in Holladay had the same type of fuel priced at $3.84 per gallon.
Earlier this month, Smith’s Food & Drug attracted attention by slashing prices at some of its gas stations. In Farmington, for example, Smith’s created a line to fill up for regular unleaded priced at $3.12 — a price it offered only for one day.
On Wednesday, most stations along the Wasatch Front were charging more than $3.50 per gallon. In southern Utah, some stations were charging close to $4 per gallon, with a station in Green River topping that threshold, at $4.79, according to the site.
Gas prices in Utah
Wednesday • $3.72
Week ago • $3.74
Month ago • $3.70
Year ago • $3.62
Record high • $4.22 (July 18, 2008)
Wednesday • $3.54
Week ago • $3.57
Month ago • $3.73
Year ago • $3.70
Record high • $4.11 ( July 17, 2008)
Find low-priced gasoline
O Go to UtahGasPrices.com or SaltLakeGasPrices.com