Gas prices rising according to AAA because of the warmer weather

HAVERTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- As the weather gets warmer, more people are making plans to go outside, which means the demand for gas is higher.

According to AAA gas prices are on the rise, and there are a number of reasons why.

The national average for gas prices is around $2.84. In Philadelphia, gas is around $2.96. For comparison, gas prices were around $2.90 last week in Philadelphia, and they've gone up about 20 cents in the past month.

In South Jersey gas is around $2.79 and in Delaware, it's at $2.69. As a whole, Pennsylvania's gas average is at $3.00 Tuesday, which is up 3 cents from last week.

"I'm not too happy about it because I plan to do a lot of driving this summer," said Susan Berkowitz, from Fairmount.

AAA said gas prices are higher in the summer because it costs refiners several cents per gallon more to make summer-grade gasoline, compared to winter-grade gas. Summer blended gasoline is usually around 5 to 10 cents more, according to AAA.

"We do not expect more expensive gas prices to impact summer travel," said Jana Tidwell, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson. "Prices are on par with this time last year and Americans hit the road in record numbers for summer holiday travel. It's more likely that travelers would shorten the distance of a road trip, eat out less or look for free activities before deciding not to take summer road trips."

Still, many people are surprised by today's gas prices, because they've gone up at a higher rate than normal. Prices are up about 20 cents in the past month in the Philadelphia area.

"It's pretty crazy, it's going to be tough commuting anywhere with gas prices so high for sure," said Ellis Rogers, from Manayunk.

How much gas will continue to increase depends on how expensive crude oil prices get, and AAA said gas prices are expected to increase till Memorial Day Weekend, marking the unofficial start of summer, and then they could plateau after that.

Action News saw signs for regular gas prices at $3.18 per gallon in Spring Garden, $3.49 in North Philadelphia and $3.89 in Havertown.

Many drivers expect these higher prices when the weather gets warmer, so AAA is recommending different ways to save on gas like:

Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, but it can also help you save money.

Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.

Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.

Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.

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

Something else to keep in mind is ending sanction exemptions for Iranian oil exports will likely increase oil prices, according to AAA.
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