NEW BRITAIN - As the long holiday weekend begins today, drivers across the state will see a rise in prices at the gas pump when they fill up.
Within the last week, the average price of gas in the state has increased to an average of about $2.75 a gallon as of Friday night, according to Gasbuddy.com.
Gas prices are expected to continue to rise over the Labor Day weekend and into September - the highest they have been this year - due in large part to the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
As of Thursday afternoon, three gas stations at the corner of Corbin Ave and West Main Street in New Britain - Sunoco, Valero and Shell - all advertised $2.55 per gallon. The Citgo on 788 West Main St. was charging $2.53 per gallon.
The increase is due to a shutdown of several refineries in Texas in advance of Hurricane Harvey.
“When you see what’s going on in Houston, you can hardly refer to an increase in our gas prices as ‘pain’ at the pump,” said AAA spokeswoman Amy Parmenter. “That said, the timing of the increase is unfortunate for all those planning one final road trip this summer.”
To make up for the shortage, other refineries, including some in the Northeast, are shipping supplies to areas of the country with low amounts. The result is a ripple effect pushing prices up almost everywhere.
The national average has increased 5 cents in a week to $2.40 for a gallon of regular unleaded, which is 18 cents higher than it was on this date last year.
Consumers will be happy to know that although gas prices are rising, AAA analysts predict the gas hike will be relatively short-lived followed by a sharp drop, given the mid-September switchover to the less expensive winter blend of gasoline and also a drop in demand.
“Even with gas prices on the rise, drivers across Connecticut are still enjoying some of the lowest gas prices we’ve seen in years,” Parmenter said. “And in a month or so, those increasing prices will reverse course, and begin a downward trend toward year’s end.