Richmond commuters got an unexpected holiday bonus: $135 in average fuel savings since July.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, vehicles in the Richmond metro area are driven an average of 29 miles on any given weekday, or 145 miles in a workweek. If local gas prices had remained at their July peak of $4.01 a gallon, the driver of a vehicle that gets 19.8 mpg, the national average, would have paid $584 for fuel between then and now.
If $1.75 a gallon held through the end of the year (and it went down even more over the weekend), commuters would earn an additional $91 over what they would have paid at $4 a gallon.
Gas prices declined gradually through August and fell sharply through October and November. The average commuter paid $450.92 for fuel since the price peaked 20 weeks ago, according to calculations using weekly average fuel prices.
That’s $320 million in combined savings, based on the 26.2 millions miles driven a day by vehicles in the metro region including Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Goochland, Powhatan, New Kent and Charles City.
The average price for the past 12 months has been about $3.18 a gallon, for a total of $1,207 in annual fuel costs.
The drop in energy prices since July has saved consumers $135 billion in annual expenditures, according to Chris Varvares of Macroeconomic Advisers, who spoke last week to the Richmond Association for Business Economists.