Winter storm pushes gas prices upward

Jan. 4—ATLANTA — Georgia's gas price average saw a spike at the pump compared to a week ago. Georgia drivers are now paying an average price of $2.77 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline.

Monday's state average is 7 cents more than a week ago, 20 cents less than a month ago, and 32 cents less than this time last year. It now costs $41.55 to fill a 15-gallon tank of regular gasoline. Although gas prices increased this week, drivers continue to pay $3 less to fill up at the pump compared to a month ago.

"For the first time in months, Georgia pump prices increased across the state, primarily due to the winter storm that just passed which caused refineries in the south to close," Montrae Waiters, a spokeswoman for AAA-The Auto Club Group, said in a news release. "Still, Georgians are paying almost $5 less for gas then this time last year.

"Georgia gas prices will also rise once the state ends its gas tax suspension on Jan. 10. How high pump prices will go after the increase is yet to be determine."

Since last Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose by 12 cents to $3.22. The late December winter storm and its frigid temperatures caused gas prices to spike, with refineries as far south as Texas and the Gulf Coast forced to shut down temporarily. The storm also caused holiday travelers to fuel up and hit the road early to beat the harsh weather, also leading to a spike in overall gas demand.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand rose from 8.7 to 9.3 million barrels a day last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks fell by 3 million barrels to 223 million barrels. More demand and less supply pushed pump prices higher.

Regional Prices:

Atlanta: $2.77

Most expensive Georgia metro markets: Savannah ($2.91), Brunswick ($2.86) and Hinesville-Fort Stewart ($2.83).

Least expensive Georgia metro markets: Rome ($2.71), Athens ($2.69) and Gainesville ($2.66).

To save on gasoline costs, drivers are encouraged to:

— Shop around for gas prices. Drivers can check area gas prices on the AAA Mobile App.

— Consider paying in cash vs. credit card. Some retailers charge extra per gallon for customers who pay with a credit card.

— Enroll in fuel savings programs.

— Maintain your vehicle to ensure best fuel economy. Find a trusted automotive facility at

— Combine errands to limit driving time.

— Slow down. Fuel economy diminishes significantly at highway speeds above 50 mph.

— Drive conservatively and avoid aggressive driving. Aggressive acceleration and speeding reduce fuel economy.

"Drivers, if you see a disabled vehicle on the roadside while traveling, be courteous and move over," Waiters said. "Remember the person broke down could be you, a friend, family member, a co-worker, or neighbor. Move over for the safety of others and because it is the right thing to do."