Cost of gas remains high across state

LIHUE — Living in paradise has its cost, particularly the high price of gasoline.

As of Thursday, the statewide average price per gallon was $3.05.

In Lihue, gas prices hovered around $3.29 for a gallon of regular unleaded on Friday.

“Kauai is one of the more remoter parts of the United States. So there is a cost to get the fuel there,” said Jeffrey Spring, spokesman of Southern California’s AAA. “There are gas station costs just to get the product to Hawaii, over and above what it would cost to send it over here to California. And that’s really the majority of the cost right there.”

There are other factors that influence Kauai’s higher gas prices as well, Spring said, such as the location of a gas station.

“The real estate cost in certain areas are higher, so to run a gas station might cost more just because of a lease to a property,” he said. “The other issue could be that there aren’t as many gas stations on the island.”

The average price in Honolulu for regular was $2.89, while Hilo’s average was $3.03. Wailuku’s average was $3.48.

“In Honolulu, it’s a larger metropolitan area with more gas stations so the price point is lower,” Spring said. “It’s also closer to the shipping point there.”

David Lunkes, who is visiting Kauai with his wife from Florida, was surprised by the high cost of a gallon of gas.

“They’re a lot higher than home. It’s about $1.97 over there,” Lunkes said.

But Lunkes assumed gas would be costlier because everything is more expensive in Hawaii.

The statewide average of $3.05 per gallon is a penny higher than last Thursday and the same price on this date a month ago. The state average price is 26 cents higher than on this date a year ago, according to GasPrices.AAA.com.

“Gas prices on the West Coast continue to lead the nation,” said AAA Hawaii General Manager Liane Sumida in a statement.

On Kauai, Costco continues to sell at a rate far under the competition: a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.65 a gallon.

Sumida had this advice: Make your vehicle lighter.

“Hawaii drivers should remove extra items like sports equipment from their vehicle. Extra weight from unnecessary items consumes gas,” she said. “Also, if possible, put bulky items inside the vehicle or trunk instead of a roof rack to reduce drag and (improve) fuel economy.”

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