Rochester gas prices continue to fall as Labor Day weekend approaches

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gas prices in Rochester have fallen by 10 cents this week, continuing the nationwide trend of dropping gas prices into Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day gas prices across the state and nation will be much cheaper than Memorial Day weekend prices.

Rochester’s prices have dropped between 7 and 10 cents every week since early July. The current average is $4.26 per gallon according to AAA. That’s significantly lower than Rochester’s all-time high of $4.99 per gallon, set on June 15.

Local prices are still $1.05 higher compared to August 2021. Statewide prices are $0.91 higher than last year and nationwide prices are $0.70 higher.

News10NBC reported that gas prices are falling slower in New York State because much of the northeast depends on imported oil, which has been in short supply. A short supply and high demand have led to a jump in prices, despite state and local gas tax relief. On the other hand, regions that can refine oil locally, like the midwest, have a greater supply leading to lower prices. 

RELATED: Nationally gas fell 64 cents in a month—So why only 33 cents in Rochester?

The city in western New York where gas prices are falling the quickest is Elmira. Prices fell by 12 cents this week and 15 cents last week. Elmira’s average is $4.09 per gallon, 15 cents lower than the state’s average. The highest prices in the region are in Watertown and Rome.

Rochester ranks near the top for most expensive gas in western New York. Rochester’s prices are slightly higher than in Syracuse and 7 cents higher than Buffalo’s this week.

The cheapest gas in Rochester was $3.66 per gallon on Sunday while the most expensive was $10.1 cents higher, found a GasBuddy’s survey. Last week, that difference was $0.76. You can find the cheapest local stations through a link to GasBuddy.

New York State’s weekly average is $4.14 per gallon, which is higher than most states. New York has high prices despite the state and Monroe County gas tax relief, which aims to save consumers $0.28 per gallon at the pump. The tax relief has been ongoing since June 1.

News10NBC reported on a study that suggests that, while consumers benefited initially from the NY gas tax relief, middlemen and retailers eventually absorbed the gas tax. That leads to less savings for consumers.

RELATED: So where did the gas tax savings go? The data may have the answers

Gas prices have skyrocketed over the past year 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. 

Because the summer travel season has ended, there is a lower demand for gas which causes prices to keep dropping. You can explore gas price trends on the website for AAA.