Consumers continue to enjoy price breaks at the gas pump and electric meter as fuel prices remain cheaper than they have been in years heading into the holiday travel and colder weeks ahead.
Chattanooga gas prices fell another 2.7 cents per gallon last week to an average of $1.72 per gallon for regular fuel, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 170 stations. Gas prices in Chattanooga are 8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 50.7 cents per gallon below where they were in the week of Thanksgiving a year ago. Chattanooga gas prices are at some of the lowest levels for this time of the year in nearly three decades.
Chattanooga motorists are also filling up at prices averaging 38 cents a gallon below the U.S. average, GasBuddy.com said.
“With Thanksgiving nearly upon us and fewer Americans hitting the road, gas prices have seen some downward movement over the last week, even as oil prices hold near recent highs,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. “Between now and the end of the year, we aren’t likely to see many fireworks at the pump as demand continues to remain well below prior years, but as a vaccine is set to be released in the months ahead, prices will likely aim for higher ground, so motorists take heed that today’s prices may not hold for much longer.”
For now, cheaper fuel is also cutting the cost of electricity.
The drop in natural gas and coal prices in recent years, combined with extra output this year from TVA’s 29 hydroelectric dams and seven nuclear reactors, are cutting TVA’s fuel cost adjustment next month to the lowest December on record.
“The overall system average fuel rate for December is approximately 20% lower than the three-year average December fuel cost,” TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. “The lower fuel rate is primarily due to expectations for higher hydro generation and lower projected sales in December.”
Brooks said TVA’s average fuel rate for next month is the lowest wholesale fuel cost adjustment for the month of December that TVA has ever had and will lower the delivered price of electricity from the federal utility to cheaper than it was five years ago.
For the typical EPB residential customer who uses an average of 1,295 kilowatthours of electricity a month, the drop in fuel costs will reduce the typical December power bill by 83 cents, or 0.6% from the current month, and be down $3,60, or 2.5% from the monthly bill for the same amount of power use in December 2019.
Contact Dave Flessner at email@example.com or at 757-6340