Rochester’s gas prices about same as state average

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Rochester’s gas prices are about the same as state’s average for the first time in weeks.

This week, the average gas price in Rochester was $3.45 per gallon and the state’s average was $3.44 per gallon. A month ago, the state’s average was 7 cents higher than Rochester’s average.

Rochester has seen a trend of falling gas prices since mid-June after prices hit an all-time record of $4.99 per gallon. Prices fell by two cents this week and one cent the previous week despite the end of the gas tax relief on Dec. 31.

That’s different from what’s expected. Prices were expected to jump up by $0.22 per gallon at the pump, since the gas tax that started last June aimed to save consumers $0.06 at the Monroe County level and $0.16 at the state level.

Originally, analysts thought it would take up to a week to see the end of the relief translate to higher prices at the pump. Now, that prices still haven’t risen, it’s evidence that middlemen absorbed the benefits of the tax relief instead of consumers, which a study Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy warned about.

Most cities in Upstate New York had slight drops in gas prices this week. In Buffalo and Syracuse, prices are 5 cents cheaper compared to Rochester. Compared to Rochester, prices in Buffalo and Syracuse are both 5 cents cheaper. The lowest average gas price in the state was Elmira at $3.30 per gallon.

Throughout much of the fall and winter, the national average has fallen much steeper than Rochester’s average. Because of that, Rochester’s prices have been higher than the national average since the third week of October.

However, a turning point may be in sight. This week, the national average increased by 6 cents this week and 3 cents the previous week, making it $3.31 per gallon. If the pattern continues, Rochester could close the gap.

The cheapest gas in Rochester this week was $3.06 per gallon on Sunday while the most expensive was 73 cents higher, found a GasBuddy’s survey. You can find the cheapest local stations through a link to GasBuddy.

Gas prices skyrocketed in the spring and summer of 2021 because of rapid recovery from the pandemic increased the demand so high that supply couldn’t keep up. Europe’s restrictions on importing Russian oil also scrambled world oil prices, affecting the U.S. even though the U.S. imports very little Russian oil.

However, prices have dropped since then because of a more stable demand.  The average for gas is now cheaper for the nation, the state, and Rochester compared to January 2022. You can explore gas price trends on the website for AAA.