One of the benefits of no longer having a daily commute is I’ll be spending much less for fuel in my car. When I traveled to an office five days a week, and even when my travel schedule was changed to four days a week to allow one day for remote access, I filled up my tank once a week. You can see my history on my Fuelly profile, which also shows that each weekly stop at the gas station cost more than $20. The costs with my Honda Civic are obviously less than the owner of a more gas-guzzling car might pay, but I’m not sad to see this expense go.
There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a gallon of gasoline, worldwide demand for oil, supply in reserves, and the value of a dollar to name a few. The former CEO of Shell has said American consumers should expect to pay $5.00 per gallon by 2012. Though not all industry experts agree, to be safe we should continue to prepare for high gas prices. According to AAA, the price of gas has increased 16% in the past year. This is a real cost that consumers and businesses must pay, yet official inflation figures from the government do not reflect the increase in cost to consumers.
Compared to other locations throughout the world, gasoline in the United States could still be considered cheap. On the other hand, the countries with the highest prices are those that do not produce their own oil, while the United States does produce a significant portion of the oil we use.
Offsetting my decreased cost for fuel, my energy bill will surely increase. With more time spent in my apartment, I’ll be heating my apartment during the winter and cooling it during the summer. It will be another month before I can determine my energy usage and the new costs, but it may not only replace but exceed the difference in my gasoline expense.
Updated January 5, 2011 and originally published December 29, 2010.