WILKES-BARRE — Commuters getting ready for the holiday travel may have noticed that the prices at the pump have been on the rise as of late.
AAA Mid-Atlantic, however, said that despite rising prices, holiday commuters will still enjoy the cheapest gas prices in 12 years.
Yesterday’s average gas price in Wilkes-Barre was $2.10 per gallon — a year ago on that date, the average was $2.50.
“As they (commuters) hit the road, they will still pay the cheapest prices for gasoline for this time of year since 2004,” said Jana Tidwell, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The recent uptick in the average retail price of gasoline can be attributed in part to another rite of spring — the seasonal switch-over from winter-grade to summer grade gasoline.”
So what’s the difference between the two blends of gasoline?
“The difference between summer- and winter-blend gasoline involves the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) of the fuel,” AAA’s website reports. “RVP is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The more volatile a gasoline (higher RVP), the easier it evaporates.”
Winter-blended fuel has a higher RVP because the fuel has to be able to evaporate at lower temperatures to run the engine in colder temperatures.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says conventional summer-blend gasoline contains 1.7 percent more energy than winter-blend gas, which is one reason why gas mileage is slightly better in the summer,” AAA’s website says. “However, the summer-blend is also more expensive to produce, and that cost is passed on to the motorist.”