U.S. households to spend $550 less on gasoline in 2015

EIA gasoline price savings

HOUSTON — The average U.S. household can expect to spend $550 less at the gasoline pump in 2015 thanks to both falling gasoline prices and more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The average household will spend about $1,962 on gasoline in 2015, the first time that average will have fallen below $2,000 in five years, the EIA said. Gasoline prices have been in a steady slide along with oil prices since this summer.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline has slid for 11 straight weeks as of Dec. 15 to $2.55, the lowest price since Oct. 2009. That’s $1.16 less gasoline prices’ peak in April. Crude oil prices in 2015 are expected to stay low as well, with the EIA estimating that the international benchmark for barrel of oil will average $68.

Increasing fuel economy is also playing a role in gas budget savings. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the fuel economy has risen from 23.1 miles per gallon for 2005 car models to 28 miles per gallon for 2014 cars, or about 21 percent. Fuel economy for trucks has increased by 19 percent from 16.9 miles per gallon to 20.1 miles per gallon over the same time period.

Falling gasoline prices also aren’t likely to lead to more driving, either. In an earlier EIA report, the agency said that in the short term a 25 percent to 50 percent drop in the price of gasoline can mean a 1 percent increase in automobile travel.