According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States average price of diesel fuel has fallen to its lowest price point in a decade, dropping 2.3 cents and coming in at $2.008 per gallon as of February 8th, 2016.
Although that change probably doesn’t seem significant to most of you, the last time that weekly diesel prices were this low was on February 14, 2005, when the national average was reported at $1.986 per gallon (before being adjusted for inflation.) After being adjusted for inflation, however, prices haven’t been this low in just under a decade and a half.
According to EIA data, average prices in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Lower Atlantic, and Rocky Mountain regions come in well below $2.00 per gallon. At the lowest point, prices in the Gulf Coast region came in at $1.89 per gallon, due to the close proximity to the nation’s refinery infrastructure. As usual, prices were highest in California, at $2.36 per gallon. This is because California has higher taxes and strict environmental regulations.
To put this price drop into perspective, today’s prices are roughly 83 cents per gallon below this time last year, when prices had already fallen significantly. Less than two years ago, the nationwide price stood at $4.02 per gallon.
Even with the lower price of diesel, it’s still important to be strategic about fuel buying. A few options include issuing fuel cards to your drivers, publishing a report each month on which drivers spend the least on fuel, and buying in bulk. If you issue fuel cards, some fuel cards will batch fuel purchases and issue volume-based pricing after a certain period. Furthermore, if you publish how much each driver is spending, it will give incentive to the drivers to compete to be the most efficient.