Gas prices climbing around Jacksonville

Author: Ashley Mitchem, Morning traffic, news reporter, amitchem@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 24 2014 01:07:16 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 24 2014 06:24:23 PM EST
Gas prices
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Have you noticed an uptick at the gas pumps lately?

You aren't imagining it. Prices at the 652 gas stations in Jacksonville have risen to an average of $3.41 cents a gallon, 5 cents more than last week.

"They've gone up tremendously," driver Chet Clemmer said. "When they go up, they go up 10, 12, 15 cents a gallon. When they come down, they come down a penny."

The current average compares with the national average, which also increased 5 cents per gallon.

Although prices are rising, prices are lower than the same day one year ago.

As of Sunday, regular unleaded gasoline prices look like this:

CurrentWeek AgoYear Ago
National   $3.40$3.35$3.78
Florida$3.45$3.39$3.87

GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices, says rising prices is nothing new for this time of year.

"So this really is what we expect for this time simply because the refineries have depleted their inventory for winter blend gasoline," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

The freezing weather bolstered demand for heating fuels like natural gas and propane, which are derived from crude oil and used to heat homes in the northeastern United States.

The spike in demand for those fuels tightened supplies, placing upward pressure on the price of oil.

"They've got some excuse all the time a refinery is down," Clemmer said. "The weather is bad somewhere. They've got some excuse all the time."

"Well, you don't have a choice. What, do you ride a bike or Get an electric car? I don't know," driver Randy Houser said.

GasBuddy says by using its free application on your phone, you can find the cheapest gas prices in your neighborhood. Another great app that can help you find gas station prices is Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app.

Gas buddy says prices have just started to climb.

"We expect this to continue on a fairly constant basis," Laskoski said.

GasBuddy predicts prices will continue to go up through the month of April.