NORWALK, Conn. Gas prices in Norwalk and across the state are once again reaching nation-leading levels . But experts from AAA predict that fuel costs will drop soon.
Connecticut's gas prices were the highest in the continental U.S. as of Monday morning, according to data from AAA. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded in the state is $4.154, compared with a nationwide average of $3.862. Only Hawaii at $4.412 has a higher per-gallon average.
The state's average gas price has risen more than 16 cents per gallon in the last month and nearly 40 cents from the low point July 1. But prices are still well shy of the state's all-time high, a $4.39-per-gallon average recorded July 9, 2008, and have dropped a few cents the past few days.
"AAA expects the national average to decline in the coming months as demand drops off following the busy summer driving period, as refineries switch from summer-blend to less expensive winter-blend gasoline and as hurricane season draws to a close," Michael Green, AAA media relations manager, wrote in his weekly update on gas prices.
Fairfield County is the hardest hit across the state, AAA's data says. The Bridgeport metropolitan area, which covers most of southwestern Connecticut, pays a current average of $4.233 per gallon, compared with $4.135 in Hartford, $4.131 in New Haven and $4.135 in the Norwich-New London area.
For the bargain-hunters, Norwalk's lowest gas prices Wednesday evening were found at the Global station at Cross Street and Main Street, the Citgo at 309 Main Ave. and the Shell at Main Street and Broad Street, where a gallon of regular unleaded gas was reportedly going for $4.15 at all three stores.
Until prices drop, AAA also offers a few tips for drivers looking to save money on gas:
? Consolidate trips and errands to cut down on driving time and miles traveled. Find one area where you can take care of banking, grocery shopping and other errands.
? Slow down. The faster a vehicle travels the more fuel it burns.
? Avoid quick starts and sudden stops. This wastes fuel, is harder on vehicle components and increases the odds of a crash.
? Lighten the load. Don't haul unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment, trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. A heavier vehicle uses more gas.