Fill ’er up: Gas prices dip below $3 a gallon in Rock Hill

dworthington@heraldonline.comDecember 11, 2012 

  • Fuel economy tips

    • Properly inflate tires. Only 17 percent of cars have all four tires properly inflated. The U.S. Department of Energy says proper tire inflation can improve fuel economy by up to 3 percent.

    • Go easy on the gas and brake pedals to save gas. The U.S. Department of Energy reports aggressive driving can lower a car’s fuel economy by up to 33 percent.

    • Find the lowest gas prices. AAA Gas Gauge and list local prices. There are smart phone apps such as AAA’s TripTik or GasBuddy.

    • Drive the speed limit, each 5 mph driven over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.

    • Plan errands in advance and combine multiple tasks into one trip.

    • Lighten the load. A heavier vehicle uses more fuel.

    • Keep your vehicle propertly maintained which helps maximize fuel economy.

— Roger Land drives 25 miles each morning from Chester to Rock Hill for work, and then 25 miles home. Finding the cheapest gas is essential.

That’s why before, or after work, you’ll likely find him on Anderson Road where gas prices are usually a penny or two less. His station of choice is the Lesslie Food Mart #2 where gas is $2.98 a gallon with a debit card, 2 cents less if you pay cash.

On Tuesday, Land put almost 10 gallons into his SUV at a cost of $29. When gas was higher $29 would have given him about 6 1/2 gallons.

The drop below $3 a gallon means “a little more money to go places, more change in the pocket, more money to go out to eat on.”

As of Tuesday, 17 stations in the Rock Hill area had prices less than $3 a gallon, according to the website Gas The state’s average price was $3.07 a gallon while the metro Charlotte price – which includes Rock Hill – was 3.27, according to the AAA Fuel gauge report.

Because of the difference in gas taxes, South Carolina prices are typically 20 cents cheaper that prices in North Carolina.

Gas prices should continue to fall slightly, said Angela Vogel Daley, public relations manager for the AAA Carolinas. “Overnight they fell a half-cent,” she said.

Fuel supply is not a problem and the price of crude oil is dropping, she said. Refineries have switched to winter-fuel blends which are less expensive to produce than summer fuels.

“It’s the usual cycle,” she said.

Consumers can expect prices to start rising in February, she said, when refineries switch to summer blends and more people are traveling.

But for now, William Wilson is enjoying the cheaper prices. “Amen, keep them coming down,” he said.

His pickup truck has a 28-gallon tank and it usually takes more than $100 to fill it. On Tuesday, Wilson paid $48 for 16 gallons. Cheaper prices affect his business. He is a contractor and estimates he drives about 150 miles a day.

Wilson said he hopes the price keeps steady at about $3.

“One dollar always make a difference,” he said.

Don Worthington 803-329-4066

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