Best gas prices are in Lihu’e

Gasoline buyers should head to the Lihu’e Paradise Service Union 76 station to fill up before gas prices rise eight cents a gallon for self-serve, unleaded regular, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, Monday, Oct. 10.

That’s the word from Martin Rice, author of the Rice Report, which appears weekly.

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

“The best bet for the next few days is to go to the self-service pumps at the Lihu’e 76 on Sunday (today, Oct. 9), where the projected price of regular should be $3.47,” Rice said.

On previous Sundays, the Paradise Service Union 76 on Kuhio Highway across from The Garden Island newspaper building has seen brisk business as people rush not only to take advantage of the four-cents-off special, but to top off tanks before gas prices rise the next day.

“Also, those who use diesel need to be a little more flexible in where they purchase, (as) the best price for that grade of gasoline for the next few days can be found at the Kalaheo Chevron, $3.43,” Rice said.

Using the Lundberg method of price averaging for national comparison purposes, Kaua’i’s across-the-board gas prices were $3.60 last week, about 26 cents higher than the previous week’s average.

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.

“Due to the inclusion of Gulf Coast wholesale oil prices used to figure the base price of gasoline here, but mostly due to ‘big oil’ profiteering, prices at the gas pump rose an average of 26 cents a gallon over last week’s survey,” Rice said.

“Like last week, the state’s wholesale-gas-cap law has precipitated very little disparity island-wide in the price of regular-grade gasoline,” Rice said

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

  • Regular:

$3.499 at the Shell stations in Hanapepe, Puhi, Hanama’ulu and Wailua, and the 76 stations in Waimea and Kalaheo;

$3.509 at Aloha Fuels in Kapahi;

$3.519 everywhere else, except the Princeville Chevron.

  • Premium:

$3.699 at the Shell stations in Wailua, Puhi and Hanama’ulu, and the Kalaheo;

$3.709 at Aloha Fuels in Kapahi;

$3.719 everywhere else, except the Shell stations in Lihu’e, Kalaheo and Hanapepe, and the Princeville Chevron;

  • Diesel: $3.429 at the Kalaheo Chevron;

$3.499 at the 76 stations in Lihu’e, Kukui Grove and Waimea.

“Tuesday’s four-cents-off at the Hanama’ulu Shell remains popular, but careful shopping around on that day may produce better prices at other nearby stations, as our local retailers are proving to be ‘good neighbors’ as their inventory warrants, by extending the previous week’s pricing,” Rice said

The state average for a gallon of unleaded gasoline as of Friday, Oct. 7, was $3.43, the highest in the nation, and 29 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 $2.93, up eight cents in one week, and 99 cents from the same time last year, according to AAA reports.

The weekly cap established by state Public Utilities Commission (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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