Gas prices across the nation are now at their highest level since 2015, with an average pump price Monday of $2.81 per gallon of regular unleaded. That’s up 5 cents from a week before — and up 43 cents from a year before, which the price was $2.38.
The national average hit its high point on Friday at $2.80, according to AAA Western and Central New York — the highest since June 13-20, 2015, says AAA — and rose another penny over the weekend.
It may continue to climb, AAA noted, as gas stations continue to switch over to the more expensive summer blend of gasoline, which helps reduce excess evaporation when outside temperatures rise. Gas stations must begin selling the summer blend by June 1, by federal mandate. AAA predicts that gas prices may potentially increase by 5 or 10 cents per gallon by Memorial Day — though it doesn’t expect the national average to hit $3 per gallon this year.
So even with gas demand notably dropping to normal levels (according to the Energy Information Administration), prices aren’t likely to see a corresponding drop. And expect demand to rise in a few weeks when Memorial Day weekend hits.
The New York state average also rose 5 cents from last Monday, from $2.89 to $2.94. Locally, gas was reported at $2.85 Sunday at the Sunoco at 4244 Route 21 South, and $2.89 Monday at the Sunoco at 6702 County Road 32 in Bristol Center, according to GasBuddy.com, which also noted a range from $2.64 to $2.85 in the Rochester area.