Gas Prices on the rise in 2018
The current gas price forecast expects costs to be up from last year.
"I think it’s going to be slightly higher in 2018 than what it has been but it has been incredibly low over the course of the last three years," said Mark Whitehead, CEO of Whitehead Oil Company.
Gas Buddy, a technology driven gas tracking website, recently released its "Fuel Outlook" for the year.
If prices follow current trends, Gas Buddy predicts an increase in gas that will cost the typical household about $133 more to fuel up in 2018.
"15 to 20 cents or even 30 cents is going to affect the personal pocket book. An average household’s second largest expense is their transportation," said Whitehead.
According to Gas Buddy’s daily survey of 146 outlets in Lincoln, gas is currently averaging $2.65 dollars per gallon which is a 10.6 cent increase since this time last year.
The national average is currently 13 cents lower than Lincoln, checking in at $2.52 dollars a gallon.
There are many factors at play concerning this rise in cost. One of them is simply the competition within the marketplace.
"We have to compete in the marketplace, when you are talking about a commodity product such as gasoline there is nothing more visible in the retail market than the price of a gallon of gasoline. It’s a product that everybody needs and they need it every single week," said Whitehead.
Prices haven’t been this high since 2014, when the January average reached three dollars and twenty cents.
Economists agree that gas prices will be going up due to of higher oil prices, which have reached their highest level since 2014. In addition, there is an increase in demand nationwide.
Cold weather can have an impact as well.
"If it gets extremely cold certainly those people will burn more heating oil which is basically diesel fuel and we can see an increase in demand for that, and if there ends up being a supply shortage that can drive the price up quite a bit," said Whitehead.
Gas prices typically rise each spring and tend to peak around memorial day when many Americans take to the roads to go on summer vacation, which in turn increases the demand for fuel.