WASHINGTON - Crude oil prices continue to be volatile and, because of that, HVACR contractors can expect the price of gasoline, which had been falling, to rise back up and possibly reach the early summer peak. That’s the latest outlook from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Energy Information Administration (EIA).

According to the EIA’s Short Term Energy Outlook, the average price in the United States for regular-grade gasoline, which reached an earlier summer peak of $2.69 per gallon in EIA’s June 22 weekly survey, fell by more than 20 cents per gallon in four weeks following the July drop in crude oil prices but is now bouncing back as the recent rebound in crude oil prices is passed through to retail markets. Gasoline prices will be strongly influenced by any changes in crude oil prices and, based on recent price volatility, could approach the June 22 peak later this summer.

EIA expects the annual average regular-grade gasoline retail price in 2009 to be $2.34 per gallon. Higher projected crude oil prices next year are expected to increase the average price to $2.66 per gallon in 2010. The annual average diesel fuel retail price is expected to be $2.46 per gallon in 2009 and increase to $2.84 per gallon in 2010.

Publication date:08/17/2009