Best gas prices on west, south sides

For a few brief, shining moments yesterday, Monday, Oct. 3, there was a 25-cents-per-gallon discrepancy in gas prices at Kuhio Highway gas stations.

Prices at Gary’s Chevron and Paradise Service Union 76 remained at $3.269 a gallon, while the Lihue Shell across the highway regular unleaded price was $3.519.

Alas, that difference lasted only a short while in the afternoon, before workers at Gary’s and Paradise raised their prices to match the Shell’s.

As predicted, gas prices rose yesterday.

Also as predicted, gas prices went down about six cents a gallon last week.

Generally, last week, prices among Kaua’i gas stations varied very little, according to the most recent Rice Report.

Martin Rice surveyed all 20 of Kaua’i’s gas stations Thursday to establish price trends and best gasoline values at the pump.

“The survey revealed an obvious trend of uniformity,” Rice said. “Not including the Chevron at Princeville, the range in prices for regular-grade gas was only two cents, and four cents for premium.

“The greatest range of prices was 20 cents per gallon for diesel,” he said.

Using the Lundberg method of price-averaging for national-comparison purposes, Kaua’i’s across-the-board gas prices were $3.34 last week, about nine cents lower than the week before.

The Lundberg method is used to compute an average of all combined grades of gasoline, and is the standard for national reporting, according to Rice.

Rice said that, like the week before, the best prices for regular-grade gasoline could be found on the Southside and Westside, at the 76 gas stations in Kalaheo and Waimea, and the shell Station in Hanapepe.

“The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) forecasts that the ‘Big Oil’ companies will take the opportunity to raise wholesale prices by about 25 cents a gallon starting (yesterday) Monday, Oct. 3.”

As recommended in The Garden Island late last week, many motorists, knowing that prices were likely to get jacked up by around 25 cents early this week, took the opportunity to fill up, or at least gas up, last weekend, before this week’s higher prices could get posted.

Rice recommended a visit to the Paradise Union 76 station on Kuhio Highway in Lihu’e, across Kali Road from The Garden Island on Sunday, Oct. 2, when the five-cents-off promotion was in effect.

The curbside pumps offering that discounted gas, at $3.219 a gallon for self-serve regular, were busy, with customers filling not only their regular vehicle gas tanks, but off-road dirt bikes and other recreational equipment as well.

Here were the best prices for gas on the Garden Island as of last Friday morning, according to the Rice Report:

  • Regular:

$3.249 at the 76 stations at Waimea and Kalaheo, and the Hanapepe Shell;

$3.259 at the Shell stations in Puhi, Wailua and Hanama’ulu, and Aloha Fuels in Kapahi;

  • Premium:

$3.449 at Kalaheo 76;

$3.459 at Aloha Fuels in Kapahi and the Shell stations in Hanama’ulu, and Puhi;

  • Diesel:

$3.369 at Aloha Fuels in Kapahi, and Kalaheo Chevron.

The state average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline as of Friday, Sept. 30, was $3.25, the highest in the nation, and 22 cents higher than the next-most-expensive location, the District of Columbia, according to the AAA (American Automobile Association) Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.84, up 93 cents from the same time last year, according to AAA reports.

Gov. Linda Lingle last week said she would join leaders of other states in asking officials with the Federal Trade Commission to investigate increasing gasoline prices in the wake of hurricanes that have devastated the Gulf Coast.

Members of the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) raised the pre-tax cap price on wholesale gasoline for the week beginning yesterday, Monday, Oct. 3, to this Sunday, Oct. 9, by 25 cents.

The weekly cap established by PUC members sets the maximum amount officials at the oil companies can charge for wholesale gasoline.

The baseline price established by members of the state Legislature under the wholesale-price-cap law and used by PUC members is the weekly average of the daily spot prices for wholesale gas in Los Angeles, the U.S. Gulf Coast, and New York.

That price excludes taxes and dealer profit margins.

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