Gas prices now on the rise, but why?

During a 24-hour period earlier this week, the national average price of gasoline increased by 5 cents per gallon — from $2.06 to $2.11. What’s going on?

According to, a gas pricing and analysis website, the jump has been brewing since early January as wholesale fuel prices have been climbing.

“It’s an indication that the prices at the pump in most areas will be climbing steadily...,” said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

Refinery change-overs

Laskoski said retail prices always rise in the first quarter of a year because refinery outputs are reduced during a transition process necessitated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates.

“A maintenance period begins between the time that winter fuel is depleted and before the cleaner-burning, more expensive ‘summer-blend’ gasoline production can begin,” he said.

And as a result, gas prices are going up across the nation, including in Connecticut, where the average price now is $2.28 per gallon for regular.

“California and the Pacific Northwest now have the highest wholesale prices in the nation so some of the largest increases are expected in California,” said Allison Mac, a GasBuddy analyst based on the West Coast.


(price for regular, per gallon)

Connecticut average on Feb. 7, 2015:


(that’s up 1 cent in 24 hours and 3 cents in one week, but is 30 cents less than one month ago)

Connecticut average on Feb. 7, 2014:



National average on Feb. 7, 2015:


National average on Feb. 7, 2014:



(average price for regular, per gallon)

Current most expensive (continental) state:

California — $2.55

Current least expensive state:

Idaho — $1.88

Nearby states:

New Jersey — $1.98

New Hampshire — $2.11

Massachusetts — $2.15

Maine — $2.17

Rhode Island — $2.17

Connecticut — $2.28

Pennsylvania — $2.31

Vermont — $2.31

New York — $2.41