The demand for fuel is falling, and gas prices are falling along with it.
The average price per gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Aiken-Augusta area is $3.072, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
Many stations in the area have been offering gasoline below the $3 mark.
That is down from $3.207 one week ago and $3.366 one month ago. Jessica Brady, spokeswoman for The Auto Club Group, said that the falling prices have more to do with a decrease in demand than with the price of crude oil.
“The price of oil is rising, but gasoline prices are falling,” she said. “That’s pretty atypical.”
Demand for gasoline is down 3.6 percent from this time last year, she said, and it’s not likely to go up anytime soon.
“Prices have been steadily falling,” she said.
Brady said that over the next few weeks, gas prices will likely stabilize and will not fluctuate more than a few cents.
Rick Cobb, the executive director of the Georgia Petroleum Council, said fuel prices usually decrease nationally this time of year because a higher volume of crude oil goes to heating oil rather than driving oil.
“The driving demand is down, and the demand for heating oil is up,” he said.
Cobb said that while 95 percent to 98 percent of heat in Georgia comes from natural gas, the northeastern United States uses oil.
“Driving demand is down, we’ve had an increase in domestic production and supplies are plentiful,” he said. “Gasoline prices are falling because it’s a competitive situation.”