It might be hard to believe, but at this time last year, gas stations in Houghton Lake waged a price war that had gas prices fall well below $1 a gallon. Gas in Cedar Springs was $1.67 at that time.
We are seeing higher prices than that this year. Over the past week, average retail gasoline prices in Grand Rapids fell 10.1 cents per gallon, averaging $2.37/g Monday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 246 gas outlets in Grand Rapids. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.34/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com. As of Wednesday, this week, gas prices in Cedar Springs were $2.38/g.
Including the change in gas prices in Grand Rapids during the past week, prices Monday were 60.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 13.0 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 10.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 43.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on January 16 in Grand Rapids have ranged widely over the last five years: $1.77/g in 2016, $1.96/g in 2015, $3.32/g in 2014, $3.17/g in 2013 and $3.59/g in 2012. Areas near Grand Rapids and their current gas price climate: Kalamazoo- $2.30/g, down 13.9 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.44/g. Lansing- $2.39/g, down 8.0 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.47/g. South Bend- $2.16/g, down 11.9 cents per gallon from last week’s $2.28/g.
“For the first time since November, the national average price for gasoline has fallen over the last week, helped by weak demand and rising gasoline inventories,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “This downward trend is evident in over two-thirds of states but may take additional time to materialize in others, yet is a familiar pattern for late winter as refiners build inventories prior to the late-February start of refinery maintenance season and thanks to the year’s weakest demand occurring over the next four weeks. However, motorists shouldn’t expect the trend to last long. After the sweetness of Valentine’s Day roses and chocolates is gone, they will be in store for a jump at the pump as maintenance season begins and the long transition to summer gasoline becomes a pinch point, leading to gas prices that will mostly trend higher for two to three months.”
For live fuel price averages, visit http://FuelInsights.GasBuddy.com. You can also see live gasoline prices at the Post website, www.cedarspringspost.com, and click on Current Gas Prices at the top. It will give you current prices in Cedar Springs, Rockford, and Sparta.