Good news surrounding Utah’s low gas prices may not last too much longer.
Utah drivers are currently paying less at the pump than the national average, according to the new AAA Fuel Gauge Report, which looks at gasoline prices and service throughout the country.
Utah currently pays an average of $2.18 for gas — the 27th lowest in the country. The national average sits at $2.21 per gallon.
Provo, which has the lowest price in the state at $2.08 per gallon, saw a 25 cent decrease since Nov. 8, the time of the last AAA report. Meanwhile, Vernal reported the highest average price in the state with $2.35.
While the national average increased in 14 of the last 15 days, Utah’s prices dipped by 17 cents in the last month, according to a press release.
Still, Utah’s average is 13 cents higher than it was the previous year (at which point Utah had the highest prices in the West).
But change may be on the way for Utahns, much like it already has been for chunks of the United States. As USA Today reported Tuesday, gas prices are poised to hit $3 per gallon in the early part of 2017, thanks to multiple deals that will stop oil production.
Just recently, the OPEC signed a deal to slash its oil output, which made oil costs climb to over $50 a barrel, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Gas prices often dip during the winter months, but OPEC’s recent moves means the United States could see even more increased prices, according to USA Today. Gas prices are already 19 cents higher than they were a year ago today.
This climb to $3 per gallon may not seem like much, but it could be negative for families on a budget. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found for those driving 12,000 miles a year, a price of $3 per gallons will cost an extra $381 per year, according to USA Today.
Increasing gas prices are also a significant reason why families are trading in their gas guzzlers for fuel-efficient vehicles. This may only continue in the future.
“With this era of low gas prices, many Americans were trading in their vehicles, selling their vehicles, buying new vehicles that have been less fuel-efficient,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com. “If gas prices do start to inch up there’s a lot of Americans that bought a new vehicle in the last two years during this climate of low gas prices, so it may affect them more.”