Gas prices drop, but vary by full dollar at stations in Dayton market

Several stations selling in the $3.80s per gallon, while a few are still pushing $5.00

Ohioans’ strained finances got a bit of good news as gas prices fell for the fifth straight week, declining 22 cents in Ohio to $4.23 per gallon Friday — 18 cents cheaper than the national average, according to AAA.

But the impact on people in Dayton depends a lot on where you fill up. On Thursday and Friday, there were stations selling regular unleaded gas for a full dollar difference in price — multiple stations in the Moraine area at $3.89 a gallon, while a few stations in Beavercreek and northwest Dayton were still over $4.90.

Maria Demetriades was filling up Thursday at a station on East Patterson Road in Beavercreek where prices were just a few cents under $5 per gallon. She said she and her husband have made some sacrifices this summer in order to stay within budget, a move she said is a direct result of high gas prices.

“We cut eating out to offset the costs because we’re paying almost double for gas now,” she said.

Wilma Sampson, who lives on the west side of Dayton, said she traveled to Moraine Thursday to fill up at the Circle K on West Dorothy Lane for a price of $3.89 per gallon. The price for Circle K Easy Pay customers was $3.79 Thursday. Sampson said the high price of gas during recent months has been difficult, but ultimately hasn’t changed her travel or spending habits much.

“My thinking is, I have to have it, so why complain about it? It’s one of those things that I can’t change, unfortunately,” she said. “To me, gas prices and grocery prices go hand in hand. I have to have groceries and I have to have gas.”

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This wide price gap comes down to decisions made by individual stations, according to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, a tech company that operates apps and websites based on finding real-time fuel prices at gas stations.

“Some stations are more aggressive lowering prices and others want to make up the margin,” De Haan said last week. “When prices plummet like they have for the last month, stations have much more control over what they want to charge. When the trend is lower, they can either pass along the price decrease more aggressively or they can sit on it and make more money.”

As most of the nation saw prices skyrocket above $5, then start to come back down, local residents reflected on how it affected their habits this summer.

Trisha Pearson of Dayton said she typically fills her car up on a weekly basis. She said within the last few months, the cost for a full tank of gas has been around $80 for her.

“Even now, when I’m filling my car up, I find myself not doing any extra stuff, but pretty much just going to work and going home or the grocery,” she said. “I don’t do any extra driving anymore.”

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Having hybrid, energy-efficient vehicles has helped Dayton resident Larry Ramey and his wife save on costs at the pump.

“We’ve definitely been more judicious about driving more efficiently by being conscious about speed, how far we travel, using the electric vehicle mode as much as possible, taking routes that are less fuel consumptive, and taking less trips,” he said.

Along with saving money, Ramey said his views around sensible fuel usage are part of his family’s effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

“We’re trying to minimize our impact on the planet as much as possible,” he said. “I think our next vehicle purchases will be all-electric. We’ve also been looking into solar panel options (for our home), but haven’t taken the plunge on that yet.”

On Friday, gas prices in Dayton averaged $4.24 according to — almost a dollar lower than this year’s peak, but still way higher than the $3.04 average of a year ago today.

The website showed 15 stations under $4 per gallon Friday afternoon, including multiple spots each in Moraine and Bellbrook. Only five stations were still listed above $4.60, three of them in north and west Dayton.

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