NORTHEAST KINGDOM – Anyone who drives a motor vehicle has probably gotten sticker shock at the gas pump recently.
Prices at some stations late last week spiked to more than $4 a gallon before tumbling back down this week. The Jay Country Store Tuesday afternoon had a cash price of $3.87. However, it recently has been a bit higher.
“Our wholesale costs have been sky rocketing,” said store manager Jeff Dezotell. “Every time there’s a hint of a hurricane, it jumps up 10 or 11 cents before the hurricane even hits.”
Recent retail prices were close to $4 a gallon, said Dezotell. He said his business does not price gouge anyone. Dezotell can’t predict future prices or say if residents would get a better deal if they fill up now. “It’s a shot in the dark,” said Dezotell. “If Iran talks about closing the Hormuz Straits in the news, then the price goes up.”
Dezotell cautions people against looking online for gas prices. He said his competitors constantly alter his price on the website.
Prices at the Troy Country Store peaked last week but started decreasing Friday, said store manager John Dennison. His prices got close to $4.00. Dennison stated his supplier, the industry and others blamed the increased gas prices on Hurricane Isaac.
Dennison watches the market all day long.
“The market is pretty soft right now,” said Dennison. “I looked at it a little while ago and it’s down again today.”
Dennison, who was selling gas at $3.87 on Tuesday, predicts prices will continue to decrease.
One store manager, who asked not to be identified, said prices have not moved much. He said his price increased six cents early last week and was just under four dollars Tuesday. The manager doesn’t know when prices will decrease.
“That’s a good question,” he answered, when asked why prices have gone up. He said one of the reasons some people give is the hurricane. “I don’t know if anybody can really give you a good reason.”
AAA of Northern New England expects gas prices will drop off as the demand decreases and the suppliers switch to a less expensive winter blend fuel, but by how much is unknown. AAA hosts a website, www.guelgagereport.aaa.com , which is based on actual card swipes at fuel stations across the country.
AAA officials said gas prices in Vermont this time last year averaged $3.68. Current average as of Tuesday was $3.96 and dropped half a cent since Monday.