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Rich Riddle
10-07-2012, 7:26 AM
An article online indicates that California gas prices are about $1 a gallon higher than much of the country. That seems like a price gas station owners would set more than oil companies. Any of you members living out there care to tell us what you are paying a gallon for gas? Her in the Fort Wright, Kentucky area regular is going for about $3.80 a gallon.

Caspar Hauser
10-07-2012, 7:32 AM
I filled up the other day in Great Barrington Ma at $3-89, it was $4-09 or thereabouts in Lakeville Ct 20 miles away.

CH

Walter Plummer
10-07-2012, 7:53 AM
It is$3.66 at Sam's club here in northern VA. most other stations still in $3.84 range.

Tim Boger
10-07-2012, 7:59 AM
What I wonder is, where's the real reason behind the huge variation in gas prices from state to state, city to city and even off ramp to off ramp ?

Without considering any negative aspects of this concept, I ask ...... should a commodity such as gasoline, which plays such a pivotal role in our lives be cost regulated ? Why should it be acceptable that gas costs $1.50 more a gallon in California cities that here in the southeast?

Is there a legitimate reason ...... distance from the refineries? Perhaps what the market bear?

I hope my post contributes to Rich's and not hijack it.

Tim

Jason Roehl
10-07-2012, 8:11 AM
Different formulations, different refineries, different market sizes, different costs of living where the workers in the supply chain live, different wage expectations, different supply lines TO the refineries, different state/county/city taxes.

I do imagine the station owners make a little more per gallon in high-cost-of-living areas, but it's still a minimal amount. Around here, typical is 2-4 cents per gallon, which is an incredibly tiny margin--there's a reason the smaller stations are constantly changing hands.

Damon Stathatos
10-07-2012, 9:17 AM
The California 'blend,' mandated by the California Air Resources Board is a unique blend and as such adds up to $.30 per gallon. I believe that our state taxes are higher here than the average as well. There have been no new refineries built here since 1980. There have been three refinery 'issues' recently (one had a fire, had to shut down, etc.) creating a shortage of gasoline that can be supplied to the gas stations. If we didn't have this special blend, we could tap from other states' supplies. Lastly, the 'summer blend' is set to be changed to the 'winter blend' at the end of October so the remaining refineries are trying to time the switch accordingly, so as not to be stuck with excess inventories of 'summer blend.' Not trying to spin this, but all of this is at least some result of excess regulations, par for the course here on the 'left coast.'

The prices here are just under $5 and expected to continue to rise at least for the next couple of days. They've been jumping up ten to twenty cents per day for the last three or four days.

Greg R Bradley
10-07-2012, 10:53 AM
I paid $4.659 yesterday for regular.

Brian Elfert
10-07-2012, 11:15 AM
One blend of gasoline for the entire USA would help with prices. A refinery in Utah or some other nearby state could then ship their fuel to California and sell it if there was a shortage. Refineries in the USA are shipping gasoline overseas because demand is down in the USA. Exporting gas is keeping our prices up.

Diesel prices here in Minnesota are going through the roof. Many stations are now at $4.49 when $4.09 was the norm on Thursday or Friday. Gasoline prices are actually going down and oil prices are going down so no idea why diesel prices are spiking.

Stephen Cherry
10-07-2012, 11:20 AM
Just one word, and I hope I don't get into trouble:

REGULATION.

Greg Peterson
10-07-2012, 11:21 AM
It wasn't all that long ago that a governor was recalled in California thanks to the market manipulations of Enron. While a myriad of legitimate factors exist that explain the current pricing in California, I remain skeptical of any explanation that tries to paint big oil as somehow a sympathetic entity. Oil futures are currently trading in the $88-$91 range. In February, it was trading for $110 and started trending down until it bottomed out around $77 in early July. Yet gas prices during this time have remained relatively unaffected, moving within a twenty cent a gallon window.

Aside from the consumers, the independent seller is getting crushed under these circumstances. Their margin is even slimmer than the corporate stations. One independent interviewed on NPR said he was loosing $.40 gallon and had to close early so as not to get completely wiped out. When asked why he even bothered to be open, he said he had regular customers and did not want to lose them.

Darcy Forman
10-07-2012, 11:22 AM
5 dollars a gallon is still cheaper than we are paying in Canada right now.

Mike Hollingsworth
10-07-2012, 12:04 PM
5 dollars a gallon is still cheaper than we are paying in Canada right now.
Gas in the USA costs about half of what the rest of the world pays. We are hooked on it and until we get off it, we're financing these airplanes flying into buildings.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-07-2012, 12:44 PM
4 years ago while on vacation in New Zealand, a Kiwi friend and coworker was giving us a personal tour of Christchurch and the surrounding area. He is in the US periodically going to school and is quite familiar with the gas situation here. He and I share the same first name. My wife commented as we passed a gas station "Oh! You pay the same price for gas that we do." To which my Kiwi friend Ken knowingly asked "Oh....you buy by the liter too?".....My wife said "Oops....!"......

ray hampton
10-07-2012, 1:10 PM
what are the cheapest and most expensive gas in California

Brian Elfert
10-07-2012, 1:19 PM
Gas in the USA costs about half of what the rest of the world pays. We are hooked on it and until we get off it, we're financing these airplanes flying into buildings.

When taxes are stripped off, we actually pay MORE than those in Europe. The wholesale price of gasoline before taxes is typically less in Europe.

Europeans charge a lot of taxes on fuel to discourage consumption. They also charge high fuel taxes to pay for their social programs. The European government model is a lot different than the US government model. Taxpayers pay more taxes in general, but they also get more in general too. I believe every European country has national healthcare, plus they typically have more generous retirement and better unemployment benefits too.

David Weaver
10-07-2012, 1:22 PM
I sure am glad that the disease of demanding specific formulations like CA does didn't spread to the east.

I don't feel any sympathy for them for having a shortage when they basically created it themselves. Cutting the consumption back (slow down driving, drive less, etc) would cut the price back, at least temporarily, but the users of it don't seem to want to do that until their hand is forced because they're out of money, which of course happens the same way as leaves fall off trees - a little at a time.

I don't know what the natural gas situation is in california, but I wish that if they had a big want, that they'd start to run cars directly on natural gas. We have so much natural gas and propane out here, that it makes no sense that we don't use it as a bridge because the alternative garbage legislators (who appear to have no clue about science and viability) push seems to include limited resources (lithium) and drastic changes and expense (100% electric cars) that have no way to work viably except on short commutes and for those with deep pockets.

I asked a local trader here how fast he thought they could deliver natural gas if cars magically went 100% natural gas over a year, and he said "we could get the gas in place faster than the cars arrived, with some conditions".

Kevin W Johnson
10-07-2012, 2:01 PM
I sure am glad that the disease of demanding specific formulations like CA does didn't spread to the east.

I don't feel any sympathy for them for having a shortage when they basically created it themselves. Cutting the consumption back (slow down driving, drive less, etc) would cut the price back, at least temporarily, but the users of it don't seem to want to do that until their hand is forced because they're out of money, which of course happens the same way as leaves fall off trees - a little at a time.

I don't know what the natural gas situation is in california, but I wish that if they had a big want, that they'd start to run cars directly on natural gas. We have so much natural gas and propane out here, that it makes no sense that we don't use it as a bridge because the alternative garbage legislators (who appear to have no clue about science and viability) push seems to include limited resources (lithium) and drastic changes and expense (100% electric cars) that have no way to work viably except on short commutes and for those with deep pockets.

I asked a local trader here how fast he thought they could deliver natural gas if cars magically went 100% natural gas over a year, and he said "we could get the gas in place faster than the cars arrived, with some conditions".

Not sure have we "have so much propane", as it's derived from oil, and the price of propane doesn't support the notion. Natural gas is an option, but I'm not sure we want California hooked on it.... it's not real cheap now... I can only see the price going up if CA. gets addicted to it.

As for electric cars your right, no, it's not an answer as we have no way to charge them if there were a big shift to 100% chargable electrics. We can't produce the power necessary to charge them.

Two weeks, we saw $3.35 for 87 octane just across the border in Tennessee, it had risen to $3.45 when we stopped there on the way back a few days later. Locally, $3.45-$3.55 depending station and it's location. As for CA gas prices, Taxes, regulation, formulation, and the fact that CA can't import gasoline from other states...

Brian Elfert
10-07-2012, 2:24 PM
California isn't the only area with specialized gas formulations. Almost every large metro area has a special gas blend for at least part of the year. The dozens of different formulations are why the EPA really needs to come up with one or maybe two formulations that would work nationwide. If a refinery makes a special formula gas for Minneapolis they can't necessarily sell that gas in Milwaukee or Chicago because the formulations for those cities may be different.

Natural gas cars would penalize those who live further north and actually heat our houses with natural gas. Greater demand will almost certainly increase prices.

Gary Max
10-07-2012, 3:08 PM
One thing for sure---if the price of gas jumped to $4.65 a gallon here----the streets would be empty.

Larry Whitlow
10-07-2012, 4:56 PM
Average price for regular unleaded is almost $4.66. I use premium grade. Live less than 10 miles from a refinery. A couple of months ago I looked into a 4 cyl tacoma. If it had a little more power going uphill, I would have made the trade.

Richard McComas
10-07-2012, 5:04 PM
In Anchorage Alaska gas is 4.00-4.50 depending on the Station. In Barrow Alaska gas is a 8.97

on the new this morning they said in VENEZUELA you can fill up a full sized SUV for under 3.00

Greg Peterson
10-07-2012, 7:50 PM
Two technologies are going to change the way we relate to our automobiles.

Autonomous vehicles and electric motors.

The technology allowing for autonomous automobiles is here, in use and legal. Gov. Brown recently signed a bill into law permitting autonomous vehicles on California roads. The law currently requires a person sit behind the wheel as a safety precaution, but thus far the record log on autonomous cars indicates that it works and that it is safe.

Volvo, Mercedes, GM are but a few of the manufacturers developing the technology. Google has logged over 300,000 miles on their autonomous fleet without a single accident. Enough vehicles are on the market now, with more to come in the near future, that after market suppliers are offering remanufactured electric steering components. Electric steering is here to stay.

My thought is that one of the first logical applications of the autonomous car will be taxi fleets. Similarly, services will arrive where people can sign up for a car on demand, whether it be an ad hock request or regularly scheduled use (commuting, church, school..). One could sit down and plan out their pickup service for the coming month and think nothing more of it. On the date and time of the scheduled pick up, the person simply step out their door and walk to the awaiting vehicle.

Another technology that will change the way we think of and use our vehicles is electric. Despite their name recently being used as an example of a failing green company, Tesla is alive and doing quite well. They recently announced a fueling network that will dramatically increase the practical range of their vehicles. Many stations are in place now, with the goal of having these stations placed all across the country. These stations will provide free recharges for their vehicles. The caveat is that it will take about thirty minutes to recharge. Thirty minute break for each three hour stretch of driving does not seem to terribly inconvenient.

I hope Ford, GM, Toyota are taking note.

The charging stations are solar powered, so no natural gas, coal, hydro or nuclear fuel is used to generate the recharge.

Electric cars would more than meet the needs of the majority of commuters. Put a solar panel on you house, a storage cell and you're done buying gasoline. At $4/gallon, the ROI is pretty quick.

Anyway, it's past time to rethink how and why we use automobiles.

David Weaver
10-07-2012, 8:16 PM
Not sure have we "have so much propane", as it's derived from oil, and the price of propane doesn't support the notion. Natural gas is an option, but I'm not sure we want California hooked on it.... it's not real cheap now... I can only see the price going up if CA. gets addicted to it.

As for electric cars your right, no, it's not an answer as we have no way to charge them if there were a big shift to 100% chargable electrics. We can't produce the power necessary to charge them.

Two weeks, we saw $3.35 for 87 octane just across the border in Tennessee, it had risen to $3.45 when we stopped there on the way back a few days later. Locally, $3.45-$3.55 depending station and it's location. As for CA gas prices, Taxes, regulation, formulation, and the fact that CA can't import gasoline from other states...

Propane is also a byproduct of the natural gas industry. But you'd only burn it as much as you'd get it as a byproduct of the natural gas industry. California may not have local supplies of natural gas, but it sure could be piped in from the midwest, or they could be left to struggle on their own with oil. In the northeast, natural gas is shipped in during peak months (geology in the northeast isn't favorable for pipelines like we have south of new england).

It is the only viable option right now as an inexpensive alternative to liquid fuels. Biofuels, battery powered cars, etc, are not viable. Natural gas here is gasping for a consumer, and so far it's putting coal plants aside for electric generation, but there's far more potential for output in the marcellus and utica shales. Those are just the local ones here.

Brian Elfert
10-07-2012, 8:26 PM
Natural gas this year has already increased 50% in price this year from a low of $2.00 per MMBTU in March to over $3.00 per MMBTU today. If natural gas is looking for customers why has the price increased 50% this year? Every time I turn around another coal plant is converting to natural gas.

I would strongly consider a CNG car if fueling stations existed, but I think natural gas is going to increase quite a bit in price as more power plants convert and more people use it for motor fuel.

David Weaver
10-07-2012, 8:51 PM
You do realize a million BTUs is 9 times the amount of BTUs in a gallon of gasoline, right? What's the wholesale cost of a million BTUs of gasoline.

Here, at least, we have idle contracts and halted plans to drill because the price is too low. It's sold by cubic feet here, and a thousand cubic feet was $14 when I moved into my house 7 years ago. It's now $4, and that's the retail price. The port price in that time, or wellhead, whatever you'd call it probably is more like $12 to $2.

The drilling companies here would love it if we could find someone to buy more. It has singlehandedly propped up this region financially, but it would do a lot better if we could find more consumers. When it's about a ninth of the wholesale cost of gasoline per BTU we have a lot of room to go.

There's essentially no hope of gasoline coming down because oil is too portable, and can easily just be shipped to another economy.

Brian Elfert
10-07-2012, 9:38 PM
The wholesale price of gasoline is about 8.5 times the price of natural gas for the same number of BTUs. With fuel taxes, natural gas should sell at retail for at most $1 per gallon equiv. From the research I did a while back CNG sells for closer to $1.50 retail and I don't know if that includes fuel taxes.

Larry Whitlow
10-08-2012, 12:14 AM
Propane is also a byproduct of the natural gas industry. But you'd only burn it as much as you'd get it as a byproduct of the natural gas industry. California may not have local supplies of natural gas, but it sure could be piped in from the midwest, or they could be left to struggle on their own with oil. In the northeast, natural gas is shipped in during peak months (geology in the northeast isn't favorable for pipelines like we have south of new england).

It is the only viable option right now as an inexpensive alternative to liquid fuels. Biofuels, battery powered cars, etc, are not viable. Natural gas here is gasping for a consumer, and so far it's putting coal plants aside for electric generation, but there's far more potential for output in the marcellus and utica shales. Those are just the local ones here.

Natural gas is in widespread use in California. Most of it is piped in from other states or Canada. Residential heating, for all intents and purposes, is by natural gas. In my life I've never seen an oil-fired anything in a residence. I've always wondered why there are very few basements in single family dwellings in California. Maybe that is why?

Brian Kent
10-08-2012, 1:55 AM
There is a huge difference between the typical cost of gas in California and the cost this week. Today the governor signed an order to allow use of "winter gas" immediately. This will be the big test to see if the gas companies are telling the truth. If so, this will cancel the effect of the immediate refinery problems. I bought my last tank around a week ago for about $3.69 per gallon. I am watching for it to return to this price.
Our summer gas issue is for a specific reason. Because of the density of traffic here and the shape of mountains and directions of winds, we have natural basins that make air unbreathable. I am very thankful for all that people have innovated that allows me and my family to breathe well.

Brian Elfert
10-08-2012, 8:13 AM
Natural gas is in widespread use in California. Most of it is piped in from other states or Canada. Residential heating, for all intents and purposes, is by natural gas. In my life I've never seen an oil-fired anything in a residence. I've always wondered why there are very few basements in single family dwellings in California. Maybe that is why?

Fuel oil is used to heat houses all over the northeast part of the USA. There are even people in Minnesota who heat with fuel oil although most use natural gas or propane. My guess is the northeast uses fuel oil because oil was first tapped there in Pennsylvania. Fuel oil for a long time was essentially a byproduct of refining oil and was dirt cheap. Diesel didn't come into wide use until the 70s or so.

David Weaver
10-08-2012, 10:45 AM
Fuel oil is used in new england especially, and a lot of the northeast, because the soil doesn't allow for easy placement of gas lines everywhere. There's quite a bit of territory in the northeast that you'd have to blast your way through to run a pipeline. I believe in peak months, natural gas is brought to boston by ship. Fuel oil is the logical convenience replacement for coal and wood, which were the most common fuels here when my dad was a kid. Almost every farm had a coal stoker and supplemented with wood when it was available from fencerows or as the product of having a lot of kids. Non farm houses often used wood with a backup oil furnace, limiting the use fo the furnace whenever possible. That went out the window when oil got cheap in the 80s. We stopped heating with wood at that time, and so did a lot of other people we knew. No reason to go to the trouble when oil at the time was less than a dollar a gallon.

There still is no gas line (still isn't) where my parents live in central PA, despite the fact that there is a gas substation a half mile away. California probably does not use oil because most of the populated areas are newer and there's nothing difficult about running pipelines there.

I still don't know why people in minnesota and michigan are forced to use propane, I guess population in the northern areas is too sparse for gas. I'd hate to buy residential propane in a really cold area.

Fleet vehicles here in the city are starting to run on propane because it's just "there" as a result of the natural gas industry here (starting with taxis and garbage truck) . The overall cost of operation is about half of the cost of gasoline on a pre-tax basis. They are a good starting point because they start their route at the same place and end it at the same place, so fueling is convenient.

Brian Elfert
10-08-2012, 11:26 AM
I still don't know why people in minnesota and michigan are forced to use propane, I guess population in the northern areas is too sparse for gas. I'd hate to buy residential propane in a really cold area.


The problem is natural gas distribution has not been run to a lot of rural homes/buildings in Minnesota and probably never will be. Propane used to be pretty cheap, but it has gone up with the price of oil. I don't think anyone would voluntarily use propane if they had natural gas service available. I did a calculation once and I figured that straight electric resistance heat would be less expensive than propane.

Mike Henderson
10-08-2012, 4:16 PM
The problem is natural gas distribution has not been run to a lot of rural homes/buildings in Minnesota and probably never will be. Propane used to be pretty cheap, but it has gone up with the price of oil. I don't think anyone would voluntarily use propane if they had natural gas service available. I did a calculation once and I figured that straight electric resistance heat would be less expensive than propane.
Wow, you must have low electricity prices. Here in CA, electricity is *very* expensive.

Mike

Rich Riddle
10-08-2012, 5:09 PM
Wow, you must have low electricity prices. Here in CA, electricity is *very* expensive.

Mike

Isn't pretty much everything *very* expensive in California? After my initial period in the military, I requested to stay out of California because the price of everything was outrageous. It's a great place to visit, but with all their legislation and associated costs, it's a good place to avoid.

Jason Roehl
10-08-2012, 6:59 PM
The problem is natural gas distribution has not been run to a lot of rural homes/buildings in Minnesota and probably never will be. Propane used to be pretty cheap, but it has gone up with the price of oil. I don't think anyone would voluntarily use propane if they had natural gas service available. I did a calculation once and I figured that straight electric resistance heat would be less expensive than propane.

This is true in much of the Midwest--natural gas in populated areas, with a smattering of electric-only, and propane in rural areas, also with a few people sticking to electric only.

Keep in mind that there is an added cost to using natural gas for vehicles--it occurs in a gaseous state naturally (naturally! Who's on first?), so to have any sort of reasonable vehicle range, it must be compressed to a liquid, which of course costs energy and dollars...

Mike Henderson
10-08-2012, 7:15 PM
Isn't pretty much everything *very* expensive in California? After my initial period in the military, I requested to stay out of California because the price of everything was outrageous. It's a great place to visit, but with all their legislation and associated costs, it's a good place to avoid.
Yep, it's just the cost of living in paradise.

On the good side, our natural gas is pretty cheap.

Mike

Kevin W Johnson
10-08-2012, 7:55 PM
Wow, you must have low electricity prices. Here in CA, electricity is *very* expensive.

Mike

What's your cost per kWh?

Mike Henderson
10-08-2012, 8:19 PM
What's your cost per kWh?
It's a stepped rate. For the summer, Tier 1 (306kwh) is about $0.13/kwh. Tier 2 (next 92 kwh) is $0.16/kwh. Tier 3 (next 214 kwh) is $0.25/kwh. Tier 4 (next 306 kwh) is $0.26/kwh, and tier 5 is $0.32/kwh. During the summer you can't avoid going into tier 5. I think I remember a notice recently that rates were going up. If I recall, tier 5 will be $0.34/kwh.

The tiers change slightly for winter usage.

So anything over 918kwh puts you into tier 5 and is very, very expensive. How many kwh do some of you reading this use in the summer?

Mike

Brian Elfert
10-09-2012, 7:45 AM
Wow, you must have low electricity prices. Here in CA, electricity is *very* expensive.

Base rate is between 7 and 8 cents a KW. With surcharges and the monthly service fee I pay around 10 cents a KW. A few years back I compared the cost per BTU between propane and electricity and electricity won.

John Pratt
10-09-2012, 10:15 AM
One blend of gasoline for the entire USA would help with prices. A refinery in Utah or some other nearby state could then ship their fuel to California and sell it if there was a shortage. Refineries in the USA are shipping gasoline overseas because demand is down in the USA. Exporting gas is keeping our prices up.

I couldn't disagree more. If California wants to set their own required fuel blends and make illegal the transportation of fuel over state lines, then they should. It is up to the people in that state to change it if they want. Build more refineries, drill off shore, etc. The people of that state through voting help to set the price of fuel. There are numerous problems to some states with setting a one-price-fits-all for every state. The people of the other states should not bear the burden of what California or any other state wants to do, Nor should California bear the consequences of the drilling or other actions of other states.

As far as big oil being a sympathetic entity, they are a business like any other. They make profits based on supply and demand. Demand is up; profits are up. By far the biggest entity that takes a share of gas prices at the pump is Government. I will stop there before this gets beyond the border of politics and the 10th Amendment.

Brian Elfert
10-09-2012, 12:48 PM
I couldn't disagree more. If California wants to set their own required fuel blends and make illegal the transportation of fuel over state lines, then they should. It is up to the people in that state to change it if they want. Build more refineries, drill off shore, etc. The people of that state through voting help to set the price of fuel. There are numerous problems to some states with setting a one-price-fits-all for every state. The people of the other states should not bear the burden of what California or any other state wants to do, Nor should California bear the consequences of the drilling or other actions of other states.


California is NOT the only state or metro area that requires a special gasoline blend to be be used. Just about every large metro area in the USA is required by the EPA to use a special gasoline blend for at least part of the year. I will say there is good reason why California has such drastic pollution laws. I lived in Southern CA in the late 1970s and I well remember coughing due to smog when walking to/from school.

Good luck getting the EPA to change. No matter what taxpayers/voters want I doubt we'll ever get the EPA to back down on these special gasoline blends.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 12:54 PM
It's a stepped rate. Tier 1 (306kwh) is about $0.13/kwh. Tier 2 (next 92 kwh) is $0.16/kwh. Tier 3 (next 214 kwh) is $0.25/kwh. Tier 4 (next 306 kwh) is $0.26/kwh, and tier 5 is $0.32/kwh. During the summer you can't avoid going into tier 5.

Mike

Is tier 5 everything beyond 918 (the first 4 tiers combined) kWh?

Ours changes slightly depending on the time of year due to demand. My last bill, the total cost per kWh was 11.4 cents.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 1:00 PM
As far as big oil being a sympathetic entity, they are a business like any other. They make profits based on supply and demand.

Except they operate with smaller margins than most other businesses.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 1:16 PM
What I wonder is, where's the real reason behind the huge variation in gas prices from state to state, city to city and even off ramp to off ramp ?

Without considering any negative aspects of this concept, I ask ...... should a commodity such as gasoline, which plays such a pivotal role in our lives be cost regulated ? Why should it be acceptable that gas costs $1.50 more a gallon in California cities that here in the southeast?

Is there a legitimate reason ...... distance from the refineries? Perhaps what the market bear?


I hope my post contributes to Rich's and not hijack it.

Tim

As has been stated, gas taxes vary greatly from state to state. Of the continental 48, California has the second highest combined state and federal gas tax at $.69 per gallon. New York is #1 at 69.6 cents per gallon. Wyoming is the lowest at 32.4 cents. Alaska is the lowest of all states at 26.4, but they obviously have transportation costs that account for their price at the pump.

Mike Henderson
10-09-2012, 1:16 PM
By far the biggest entity that takes a share of gas prices at the pump is Government. I will stop there before this gets beyond the border of politics and the 10th Amendment.
Here in CA, the taxes are listed on the pump. I don't remember the exact amounts but federal taxes are a pretty small amount compared to the cost of a gallon of gas. And it doesn't change as the price of gas changes.

There's also state sales tax and that is a percent of the cost of a gallon so it goes up as the cost of a gallon goes up.

Mike

Mike Henderson
10-09-2012, 1:20 PM
Yes, everything beyond 918 is tier 5. There are no tiers beyond 5.

The amount of kWh in each tier changes slightly between summer and winter.

Mike


Is tier 5 everything beyond 918 (the first 4 tiers combined) kWh?

Ours changes slightly depending on the time of year due to demand. My last bill, the total cost per kWh was 11.4 cents.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 1:21 PM
Here in CA, the taxes are listed on the pump. I don't remember the exact amounts but federal taxes are a pretty small amount compared to the cost of a gallon of gas. And it doesn't change as the price of gas changes.

There's also state sales tax and that is a percent of the cost of a gallon so it goes up as the cost of a gallon goes up.

Mike

What he's alluding too is that the taxing entities are "making" more on a gallon of gas than the actual producer. The "big 5" oil companies make about 6.2% profit on each gallon.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 1:25 PM
Yes, everything beyond 918 is tier 5. There are no tiers beyond 5.

The amount of kWh in each tier changes slightly between summer and winter.

Mike

Ouch!! Do you mind sharing your typical kWh usage? My last bill was for 2029 kWh, (and we're trying to figure out whats driving our usage) for a bill of $232.39. Under your tiered plan, it would be $543.08!!

Greg R Bradley
10-09-2012, 2:51 PM
Ouch!! Do you mind sharing your typical kWh usage? My last bill was for 2029 kWh, (and we're trying to figure out whats driving our usage) for a bill of $232.39. Under your tiered plan, it would be $543.08!!

Most of my neighbors would be thrilled with a bill that was only $543.08. My neighbor just complained to me last night that even after two of his three kids moved out that his is still $700+.

The tiers must vary by area. The Inland Empire is a bit hotter than 15 miles closer to the beach where Mike is located.

My Tiers in Summer:
Tier 1: 512kwh
Tier 2: 154 Cumulative total of 666
Tier 3: 358 Cumlative total of 1024
Tier 4: 512 Cumulative total of 1536
Tier 5: Anything over the cumulative 1536

3 years ago I installed a Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed pool pump, which dropped my electric bill $75-80 per month in the Summer because it was all Tier 5 usage. By doing the work myself, it paid for itself by last Summer. Now that they are cheaper, the payback might be one year with a big pool.

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 3:06 PM
Most of my neighbors would be thrilled with a bill that was only $543.08. My neighbor just complained to me last night that even after two of his three kids moved out that his is still $700+.

The tiers must vary by area. The Inland Empire is a bit hotter than 15 miles closer to the beach where Mike is located.

My Tiers in Summer:
Tier 1: 512kwh
Tier 2: 154 Cumulative total of 666
Tier 3: 358 Cumlative total of 1024
Tier 4: 512 Cumulative total of 1536
Tier 5: Anything over the cumulative 1536

3 years ago I installed a Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed pool pump, which dropped my electric bill $75-80 per month in the Summer because it was all Tier 5 usage. By doing the work myself, it paid for itself by last Summer. Now that they are cheaper, the payback might be one year with a big pool.

I put a timer on our pool pump, cutting the run time back to about 8hrs a day. I can't say that it made a big difference, but I'd have to go back and look at the usage history to see for sure.

Ben Hatcher
10-09-2012, 3:14 PM
Our utility added smart meters that allow me to see my usage by 15 min intervals. It is pretty cool for a numbers guy like me. My AC and dryer are the biggest users in my house. I switched to a window unit in my bedroom and set the house temp about 12 degrees higher at night than I otherwise would and used about 20% less this year versus the same month last year without being uncomfortable.

I looked into an electric car to replace my SUV recently. Gas is running me about $8/day for my 30 mile rt commute. The Volt would use $1.05 in electricity for the same commute. That's still a pretty an 11 year payback versus driving the wheels off of my current vehicle assuming $4 gas. It would be about the same for a Prius. Reading these makes me wonder about the economics of a CNG converted compact.

Mike Wilkins
10-09-2012, 4:01 PM
Check out the article in today's USA Today covering this very topic. They did a chart of various states that did and did not have a refinery in that state. Prices did not vary much from states that did have a refinery and those that did not. The article did not show Cali. Since the so-called crisis in the early 70's, the petroleum industry has realized that they can charge whatever they want, and with the government in their back pockets, they get away with it.
Now back to the shop to make some sawdust and forget this mess.

David Weaver
10-09-2012, 4:23 PM
This isn't really an accurate way of looking at it, because we don't get as cheap of oil (in terms of recovery cost) as we did in the 70s. When oil is above $75-$80 a barrel, a lot of production of very expensive and energy intensive oil comes online.

This is part of the reason that I mentioned above that we should go to natural gas. We could probably, in a year, have enough natural gas production to fuel all of the cars on the road without taking any powerplants offline.

Gasoline and oil also become a store of value for investor dollars, and that pushes the commidty price up. When that pushes up the commodity price, that means the station owner pays more for the gas, and you pay more.

The real issue is that consumers are more than willing to buy $4 gas with very little behavior change, and that allows the contracts to be priced that way without the end user turning up their nose. The rest of us who are not willing to change our behavior are too ready to play victim while we sit inside and let everyone recovering the oil deal with rough dangerous work, and at the same time play victim even though we refuse to recognize that a huge part of the world is coming online and demanding energy, too, and since their infrastructure is not as well defined and compact as ours, and not remotely close to dense old wealth areas like western europe, they are going to be demanding portable liquid fuels.

David Weaver
10-09-2012, 4:28 PM
I looked into an electric car to replace my SUV recently. Gas is running me about $8/day for my 30 mile rt commute. The Volt would use $1.05 in electricity for the same commute. That's still a pretty an 11 year payback versus driving the wheels off of my current vehicle assuming $4 gas. It would be about the same for a Prius. Reading these makes me wonder about the economics of a CNG converted compact.

There's an economic cost to tying up the money in the volt, too, you'd never make the money back. Especially if you compare the volt to a stripped down platform cruze that it's based on. I doubt a volt would go 30 miles in highway traffic, anyway, too much wind resistance at speed.

I'm rooting for CNG, it's already abundantly clear from this, but I would rather burn energy that is plentiful and local, not to mention cleaner, and at the same time has no more potential limitations than liquid fuel (i.e., you can drive with it as long as you can fill up somewhere with it).

Do you know if anyone is offering a well organized CNG conversion for a car? Honda has been selling the cars for a while, obviously (or we they lease like the fuel cells were?). The electronics in a car are probably the biggest hindrance in conversion.

Mike Henderson
10-09-2012, 6:12 PM
Ouch!! Do you mind sharing your typical kWh usage? My last bill was for 2029 kWh, (and we're trying to figure out whats driving our usage) for a bill of $232.39. Under your tiered plan, it would be $543.08!!
For September, my usage was 1,058 kWh. August was 896 kWh, but May was only 330 kWh (bill of $44.11). So overall, my annual electricity cost is not too bad.

We don't have enough hot weather to justify installing a higher SEER air conditioner. I did just recently install a whole house fan to bring in the cool evening air. There's not many days when the evening is not fairly cool. It works okay but you need a decent difference between the outside temp and the inside temp - 5 degrees is okay but 10 is better.

Mike

harry hood
10-09-2012, 6:24 PM
I will say there is good reason why California has such drastic pollution laws. I lived in Southern CA in the late 1970s and I well remember coughing due to smog when walking to/from school.


This 1000 times. When I was a kid in he 70s we literally couldn't see the mountains that were only a few miles away much of the summer. We routinely had smog alerts that forced recess to be held indoors and after school sports to be cancelled. Interesting for lots of reasons, the last third stage smog alert was in 1974 and then Gov. Ronald Reagan issued a statement urging residents to "limit all but absolutely necessary auto travel" and recommending that those who must drive do so at reduced speeds to lessen vehicle emissions. "Carpooling and mass transit should be used whenever possible," he said.
http://www.aqmd.gov/news1/Archives/History/stage3.html

Brian Elfert
10-09-2012, 9:10 PM
A co-worker of mine just leased a Volt. He pays almost $400 a month to lease it. (No idea if he gets a tax credit when leasing it.) He says he is spending a fair bit less than the car payment and fuel for his previous car. His commute is just under 40 miles so it is perfect for the Volt.

He is still on the first tank of gas after at least three months. His electric bill has gone up about $40 a month.

Bill Cunningham
10-09-2012, 10:35 PM
I was told once 30 years ago, that a nuclear reactor was more efficient a producing hydrogen than electricity. Hydrogen is the perfect fuel, and more use should be made of it..

Kevin W Johnson
10-09-2012, 11:33 PM
I was told once 30 years ago, that a nuclear reactor was more efficient a producing hydrogen than electricity. Hydrogen is the perfect fuel, and more use should be made of it..

Good luck building a nuclear plant in the US to produce it though. That's one of the biggest problems we have, no matter what type of energy production we put fourth, there is always some group that opposes it, sues to block it, etc. The last ground breaking on new plants in the US was 1974. Though, in 2011 and 2012, there has been construction of new units at existing plants. I'm truely surprised the new units have been allowed to be built. Currently less than 20% of our electricity is generated at nuclear facilities.

Mike Henderson
10-09-2012, 11:40 PM
I was told once 30 years ago, that a nuclear reactor was more efficient a producing hydrogen than electricity. Hydrogen is the perfect fuel, and more use should be made of it..
There are a number of problems with Hydrogen. Let's begin by looking at the efficiency of the process. If hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water, the energy contained in the hydrogen is at best about 70% of the energy that goes into the electrolysis system. So let's start with using 1000 units of energy as input to the electrolysis system. You'll get 700 units of energy in the hydrogen. Then the hydrogen has to be compressed, and let's assume that it takes about 10% of the energy in the hydrogen to compress it (the energy may come from sources other than the hydrogen). So you now have 630 units of net energy. Then, you have to transport the hydrogen. Let's be generous and assume it takes 20% of the energy in the hydrogen to transport it, which gives you 504 units of energy. Then, the hydrogen is used in a fuel cell that's about 45% efficient, giving you 226 units of energy. The energy from the fuel cell is then fed to an electric motor which is about 90% efficient, giving you an energy output of 204 units of energy left from your initial 1,000 units of energy.

Now, let's look at a battery powered car and again start with 1000 units of electrical energy. It will take about 5% to transport the electricity to your home, leaving you with 950 units of energy. The efficiency of the battery is about 95% - that is, you can recover about 95% of the energy you put into a battery, leaving you with about 903 units of energy. The electric motor is about 90% efficient, giving you an output energy of 812 units of energy.

So the hydrogen system is only about 20.4% efficient, while the battery system is about 81% efficient.

Hydrogen burns with a nearly invisible flame - its' very difficult to see a hydrogen flame - so it's dangerous to be around. Workers in places where hydrogen is piped use a broom held in front of them to check for burning hydrogen (the broom catches fire).

The hydrogen analysis here is somewhat best case because hydrogen today is mostly produced from petroleum, not electrolysis.

I have not looked at the efficiency of producing the initial 1000 units of electrical energy in either case because it doesn't matter. You have to produce 1000 units of electrical energy for either process so it's a wash.

The basic problem with hydrogen efficiency is that we take electricity, convert its energy to another material form (hydrogen, in this case), process and transport that material (which is more difficult and expensive than transporting electricity), and then convert the energy in that material back to electricity. It's just a wasteful process.

My belief - we'd be a lot better off by developing battery powered cars than fuel cell cars that use hydrogen.

Mike

Jeff Hamilton Jr.
10-10-2012, 12:06 AM
For September, my usage was 1,058 kWh. August was 896 kWh, but May was only 330 kWh (bill of $44.11). So overall, my annual electricity cost is not too bad.

Mike

To note the variance of weather in CA, I live in the Central Valley -- not the coastal south like Mike. Once we hit mid-July, the monthly usage goes north of 2000 kWh hitting the high of 2500 kWh in August. We don't dip under 2000 until October ends (in the usual year).

When I get the "you're about to enter Tier "X"" statements from PG & E, I just laugh. They make good money on us in the summer. There is absolutely no way to keep under Tier 5 where we live. Not if you want the house under 80 degrees. . .

Kevin W Johnson
10-10-2012, 12:14 AM
Even so, we still have to build the infrastructure (nuclear, solar, other) necessary to charge a large shift to electric cars. I still say the fastest way to fund such a venture is large domestic oil production to drive gas and diesel to a tolerable level, at which point we can raise the taxes on those and devote the extra money strickly to that. Maybe that's over-simplified.... but if we could get gas and diesel to the $1.50 level including current taxes, and then levy a tax just for alternative energy production of about a $1.00 a gallon... I think everyone at that point would be happy with $2.50 a gallon gas, our economy would get a huge boost, food costs (and many others) would drop, and we'd have a massive fund to pay for alternative energy of all sorts, including subsidizing those that aren't quite economically feezable just yet. Not to mention we'd be sending much less money to countries that hate us.

Ben Hatcher
10-10-2012, 9:49 AM
A co-worker of mine just leased a Volt. He pays almost $400 a month to lease it. (No idea if he gets a tax credit when leasing it.) He says he is spending a fair bit less than the car payment and fuel for his previous car. His commute is just under 40 miles so it is perfect for the Volt.

He is still on the first tank of gas after at least three months. His electric bill has gone up about $40 a month.

The current lease offer here for the Volt is $299/month for 36 months with something like $3-4k down. Any tax rebate goes to the original owner. In the case of a lease, that first owner is the leasing company.

Frank Drew
10-10-2012, 11:08 AM
Just one word, and I hope I don't get into trouble:

REGULATION.

Or speculation. Does the name Enron ring a bell? With its huge market, California seems to be a playground for energy speculators/manipulators.

From everything I've read, there is no genuine shortage of gasoline; the supplies are essentially unchanged from where they were this time a year ago, within a few percentage points. Any local "shortages" are actually retailers, such as Costco, refusing to pay these short term price increases from the wholesalers.

California is well within its rights to do anything they think feasible to reduce air pollution; they've mandated specific blends for some time now, that's already factored in, so that can't explain the recent skyrocketing of prices at the pump.

And for those who argue that this is just the natural playing out of supply and demand issues, why can gasoline prices, not just in California, shoot up so much in one day in response to whatever real or imagined shortages, but then take months to come back down, long after the initiating "event" is no longer a factor?

David Weaver
10-10-2012, 11:15 AM
Even so, we still have to build the infrastructure (nuclear, solar, other) necessary to charge a large shift to electric cars. I still say the fastest way to fund such a venture is large domestic oil production to drive gas and diesel to a tolerable level, at which point we can raise the taxes on those and devote the extra money strickly to that. Maybe that's over-simplified.... but if we could get gas and diesel to the $1.50 level including current taxes, and then levy a tax just for alternative energy production of about a $1.00 a gallon... I think everyone at that point would be happy with $2.50 a gallon gas, our economy would get a huge boost, food costs (and many others) would drop, and we'd have a massive fund to pay for alternative energy of all sorts, including subsidizing those that aren't quite economically feezable just yet. Not to mention we'd be sending much less money to countries that hate us.

We don't have large domestic oil supplies that would allow for gas that cheap, not even $2.50 a gallon. A lot of our new extraction is at a high $$ recovery rate. Gas is another story, but there are infrastructure issues in getting it to cars, too, over a wide range. They are relatively simple, though, and nothing that would make a NG or propane car go costs measurably more than anything in a gasoline car.

The other issue with oil supplies is that oil is a global market. You would have to have state oil companies that didn't participate in the open markets, and I'm not sure we'd want that environmentally. There'd be no check on what they did, and exempt (military, government,...) groups already are major polluters.

Speaking as someone who lives in a huge NG area now, there are issues with contamination and pollution, but most of the people here tolerate them because of the economic benefit. I wouldn't want someone who was afraid of nobody or who could control their own environmental restrictions doing the drilling.

David Weaver
10-10-2012, 11:17 AM
Fixed.

From everything I've read, there is no genuine shortage of gasoline; the supplies are essentially unchanged from where they were this time a year ago, within a few percentage points. Any local "shortages" are actually retailers, such as Costco, refusing to pay these short term price increases from the wholesalers.

California is well within its rights to do anything they think feasible to reduce air pollution; they've mandated specific blends for some time now, that's already factored in, so that can't explain the recent skyrocketing of prices at the pump.

And for those who argue that this is just a supply and demand issue, why can gasoline prices, not just in California, shoot up so much in one day in response to whatever real or imagined shortages, but then take months to come back down, long after the initiating "event" is no longer a factor?

The price of gasoline at retail is based on a spot market that doesn't fluctuate with the cost of the goods paid for in the tank, it fluctuates based on the cost to refill the tanks. If the market anticipates a constriction, the price goes up, if they don't, it stays level or drops.

ray hampton
10-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Fixed.

From everything I've read, there is no genuine shortage of gasoline; the supplies are essentially unchanged from where they were this time a year ago, within a few percentage points. Any local "shortages" are actually retailers, such as Costco, refusing to pay these short term price increases from the wholesalers.

California is well within its rights to do anything they think feasible to reduce air pollution; they've mandated specific blends for some time now, that's already factored in, so that can't explain the recent skyrocketing of prices at the pump.

And for those who argue that this is just a supply and demand issue, why can gasoline prices, not just in California, shoot up so much in one day in response to whatever real or imagined shortages, but then take months to come back down, long after the initiating "event" is no longer a factor?


when do the person that are behind the price increase at the pump ever take a vacation

daniel lane
10-10-2012, 1:21 PM
To note the variance of weather in CA, I live in the Central Valley -- not the coastal south like Mike. Once we hit mid-July, the monthly usage goes north of 2000 kWh hitting the high of 2500 kWh in August. We don't dip under 2000 until October ends (in the usual year).

When I get the "you're about to enter Tier "X"" statements from PG & E, I just laugh. They make good money on us in the summer. There is absolutely no way to keep under Tier 5 where we live. Not if you want the house under 80 degrees. . .

+1 on this. I'm about 50 mi south of Jeff in the Central Valley, and live in a 4yr old house (i.e. fairly energy efficient) and routinely have $500-$700 electric bills in the summer. Without a pool. Our thermostat is set at 77 most of the day, I usually turn it down to 75 or 76 in the evening. I remember when I moved into the house we lived in before this one - it was during the week of 4 July, and I put a thermometer on an outside window sill on the covered patio on the north side of the house...max temp was 114. First electric bill at that house was $600+ for a partial month.

On the plus side, I get insanely cheap produce over much of the year, I'm less than an hour from Sequoia national forest, less than 2 hours from Yosemite, and about 2 hours from the beach. And to stay on topic, the local Valero station is currently at $4.49, local 'el cheapo' no-name is at $4.39.


daniel

daniel lane
10-10-2012, 1:27 PM
Just to throw some more information into the discussion, I figured I'd share some of my recent work. I do a lot of technoeconomic modeling in the biofuels/biochemicals space and have recently put together this bit of information for one of my clients. Natural gas and electricity pricing is U.S. national average retail pricing for the industrial sector. If anyone wants the gory details by region and residential/commercial/industrial, let me know and I can post it.

Forecasting is based on information presented in the Annual Energy Outlook released by the Energy Information Administration.

Edit: I've added regular gasoline prices, including taxes, for historical reference.



daniel

Mike Henderson
10-10-2012, 2:32 PM
Just to throw some more information into the discussion, I figured I'd share some of my recent work. I do a lot of technoeconomic modeling in the biofuels/biochemicals space and have recently put together this bit of information for one of my clients. Natural gas and electricity pricing is U.S. national average retail pricing for the industrial sector. If anyone wants the gory details by region and residential/commercial/industrial, let me know and I can post it.

Forecasting is based on information presented in the Annual Energy Outlook released by the Energy Information Administration.

Edit: I've added regular gasoline prices, including taxes, for historical reference.



daniel
On your third chart, the years 2008 and 2012 are repeated twice on the horizontal axis, and the year 2010 is missing.

Mike

Damon Stathatos
10-10-2012, 3:22 PM
when do the person that are behind the price increase at the pump ever take a vacation

Only when the price is dropping !!!

Frank Drew
10-10-2012, 3:26 PM
when do the person that are behind the price increase at the pump ever take a vacation

Seemingly never; the people who lower prices, however, take a lot of holidays.

daniel lane
10-10-2012, 5:21 PM
On your third chart, the years 2008 and 2012 are repeated twice on the horizontal axis, and the year 2010 is missing.

Mike

Mike, I'll go back and fix, but that's just because I manually set the major units on the axis earlier and didn't notice it was off. :o Each major x-axis tick mark is within 1 day of 1 January, so functionally they work.

Note, by the way, that the gasoline charts show forecast pricing. I needed the numbers, not the charts, when I put them together, so I didn't indicate that like I did for electricity and natural gas.



daniel

Damon Stathatos
10-10-2012, 5:51 PM
...I've added regular gasoline prices, including taxes, for historical reference.
daniel

What I find interesting is that the retail price of gasoline is very close to what it was at it's previous height in 2008. If I recall, the price of oil hit around $145 / barrel then. What's it at now...low $90's ??? What's up with that ???

Kevin W Johnson
10-10-2012, 8:16 PM
We don't have large domestic oil supplies that would allow for gas that cheap, not even $2.50 a gallon. A lot of our new extraction is at a high $$ recovery rate. Gas is another story, but there are infrastructure issues in getting it to cars, too, over a wide range. They are relatively simple, though, and nothing that would make a NG or propane car go costs measurably more than anything in a gasoline car.

The other issue with oil supplies is that oil is a global market. You would have to have state oil companies that didn't participate in the open markets, and I'm not sure we'd want that environmentally. There'd be no check on what they did, and exempt (military, government,...) groups already are major polluters.

Speaking as someone who lives in a huge NG area now, there are issues with contamination and pollution, but most of the people here tolerate them because of the economic benefit. I wouldn't want someone who was afraid of nobody or who could control their own environmental restrictions doing the drilling.

Based on some articles I've read, our reserves are greatly understated....

David Weaver
10-10-2012, 8:48 PM
It's not how much oil we can get, it's how cheaply we can get it out of the ground. It IS cheap to get natural gas out of the ground, though.

John Lifer
10-10-2012, 10:06 PM
Mike, Your calculation is inaccurate as you stated you didn't need to calculate efficiency in producing electricity, but you did do that to produce the hydrogen. I'm not a proponent for Hydrogen, electric cars are not cost effective by any means.

Nothing wrong with gasoline, it IS artificially expensive. Gas taxes are NOT cheap.... If you take $3.00 gas (which is not historically cheap) we pay almost 9% for the federal tax, state taxes are all over the place, CA is .51 per gallon, that ends up being 25% of the cost of a gallon. What other items do you buy that you pay 25% of the price in taxes?

Don't forget you WILL pay this amount for any alternative fuel. Feds have to pay for our roads and bridges and any other items they can squeeze out of this tax. The one thing we in this country have forgotten over the past couple of decades is that there is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH! Someone pays, or we all go broke.

John Lifer
10-10-2012, 10:08 PM
The current lease offer here for the Volt is $299/month for 36 months with something like $3-4k down. Any tax rebate goes to the original owner. In the case of a lease, that first owner is the leasing company.

Sweet deal, and just what is this VOLT going to be worth at the end of the 36 month lease? I'll bet that these folks will be quite surprised that $40K car is now worth $10K.......

Kevin W Johnson
10-10-2012, 11:00 PM
It's not how much oil we can get, it's how cheaply we can get it out of the ground. It IS cheap to get natural gas out of the ground, though.

Some is, some isn't. There's been a huge debate/fight about "fracking" in order to produce natural gas locally.

As for oil, the Gulf has essentially been shut down for new production, while we GIVE money to other countries to drill offshore. One on land oil field that we've told only contains a few million barrels, is actually said to hold more that 4 billion. IIRC the article said it wasn't difficult to tap. Even if it were, TODAYS price would pay for the work to do so, even if in the long term the price dropped.

A few years ago, the mere thought that we as a country would tap into more of our own oil would cause the OPEC nations to increase production, thereby reducing the cost, so we would keep buying their oil instead. Well, they watch our news too, they know the current "climate" against domestic production and all the hurdles that stand in the way. It will take the start of serious production to again produce that result.

As I said, it's an over-simplified answer to a complex problem. However, if it could be done, it would be the fastest way to move away from gasoline, while solving many other problems at the same time.

Kevin W Johnson
10-10-2012, 11:03 PM
Sweet deal, and just what is this VOLT going to be worth at the end of the 36 month lease? I'll bet that these folks will be quite surprised that $40K car is now worth $10K.......

Where's the 10K number come from? Is a 3 yr old Prius only worth 10K?

Mike Henderson
10-10-2012, 11:19 PM
Mike, Your calculation is inaccurate as you stated you didn't need to calculate efficiency in producing electricity, but you did do that to produce the hydrogen. I'm not a proponent for Hydrogen, electric cars are not cost effective by any means.
I was trying to compare the efficiency of a hydrogen system verses a battery system. In either case, for my example, you start with 1,000 energy units of electricity. If that electricity is produced from petroleum or solar power or whatever doesn't matter. Whatever the efficiency of producing the electricity, it does not change the efficiency of the follow-on systems (hydrogen or battery). Let's say that the electricity is produced from natural gas and the efficiency is 30% in converting the energy in natural gas to electrical energy. You'd just multiple each result by 0.30 so the relative comparisons would not change.

To produce hydrogen, you need to first produce electricity. To charge a battery, you first need to produce electricity. Same - same.

Mike

Mike Henderson
10-10-2012, 11:38 PM
Don't forget you WILL pay this amount for any alternative fuel. Feds have to pay for our roads and bridges and any other items they can squeeze out of this tax. The one thing we in this country have forgotten over the past couple of decades is that there is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH! Someone pays, or we all go broke.
You bring up an interesting point, which is how do we collect road taxes for electric vehicles. Right now, there aren't enough electric vehicles to worry about but the states are already working on how to address this issue. The most likely approach is to charge by the mileage driven. You'd report the number of miles driven in a year and pay taxes when you file your state income tax.

The problem with this approach is that it does not distinguish between the use of a gas guzzler and a gas sipper. Under today's approach, where taxes are levied on the gas put into the vehicle, the owner of a gas guzzler pays a lot more taxes than the owner of a gas sipper. So the mileage approach will probably not work well. We'd prefer to incent people to purchase highly efficient vehicles.

Maybe the "taxes per mile" approach will only be used with electric vehicles.

Mike

Gary Max
10-11-2012, 6:05 AM
Around here------- they have been watching the news and raised our gas 30 cents over night just so we don't feel left out.

Rich Riddle
10-11-2012, 7:53 AM
Around here------- they have been watching the news and raised our gas 30 cents over night just so we don't feel left out.
In Northern Kentucky we only went up three cents from yesterday. Use the website GasBuddy to find the lowest gas prices in your area.

http://gasbuddy.com/

Jason Roehl
10-11-2012, 8:05 AM
In Northern Kentucky we only went up three cents from yesterday. Use the website GasBuddy to find the lowest gas prices in your area.

http://gasbuddy.com/

They also have an app for smartphones--very useful. It uses the GPS on your device to find you the closest stations, or you can sort by price within a given distance.

Brian Elfert
10-11-2012, 8:39 AM
Sweet deal, and just what is this VOLT going to be worth at the end of the 36 month lease? I'll bet that these folks will be quite surprised that $40K car is now worth $10K.......

The leasing company estimates how much the car will be worth at the end of the lease. They use this estimated value to help set the lease payments. If the car is worth less at the end of lease then estimated the leasing company takes the loss. The leasee is not responsible for the difference. Finance companies quit doing leases for the most part around 2000 because the cars were worth less than estimated at the end of the leases and they were losing money.

David Weaver
10-11-2012, 9:18 AM
A co-worker of mine just leased a Volt. He pays almost $400 a month to lease it. (No idea if he gets a tax credit when leasing it.) He says he is spending a fair bit less than the car payment and fuel for his previous car. His commute is just under 40 miles so it is perfect for the Volt.

He is still on the first tank of gas after at least three months. His electric bill has gone up about $40 a month.

I wonder how much the lease would cost if the manufacturer/dealer didn't pocket a credit $7500 for selling the volt. I'm guessing it would be about $7500 more over the life of the lease, add $200 a month plus finance and the real lease cost of the car is $600 a month, it's just skewed because someone else's dime is handling the $200 difference.

It would be a lot more fiscally sound to purchase a cruze (but my oh my is there a huge spread in bragging rights between a cruze and volt), which probably could be leased for $200 without anyone else's dime.

Or a prius, which so far has proven to be a much better vehicle in terms of sales volume and practicality.

Jason Roehl
10-11-2012, 9:27 AM
Never mind that the Volt is selling at about a 50% loss for GM. (They cost about $80k per to manufacture).

David Weaver
10-11-2012, 10:05 AM
I think they make the cruze somewhere between you and I geographically, so I'd call it buying local :)

As well as inexpensive. (I'd get a prius if I was forced to take one of the 3, though, it makes fiscal sense and is already known to last a long time). I think I have seen exactly one volt so far on the road (I take public trans and see a lot of cars go by).

I stand next to a BP station to catch the bus, and it was going to the gas station. The odds of that can't be too great, see one in your life and it's going to a gas station.

Jason Roehl
10-11-2012, 10:12 AM
I'd take whichever one had the highest trade-in value. Then I'd trade it in on a diesel Jetta or Passat.

Kevin W Johnson
10-11-2012, 11:04 AM
Never mind that the Volt is selling at about a 50% loss for GM. (They cost about $80k per to manufacture).

Not true.... The article that says that took the total development cost and divided that by the number of Volts made thus far and then added the estimated production cost of the car...... just a bit unfair to say the least. Even if that were a true calculation of cost of manufacture, they left out the sisters to the Volt sold in Europe and Australia.

Then there's the fact that the Chevy Volt has the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any compact car, plug-in or not, according to J.D. Power.

daniel lane
10-11-2012, 12:39 PM
http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/02/autos/chevy-volt-lease/index.html

GM is subsidizing Volt leases now to get more traffic (pun intended) - could make for a good used market in 2 years when the leases are up.



daniel

Kevin W Johnson
10-11-2012, 2:21 PM
http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/02/autos/chevy-volt-lease/index.html

GM is subsidizing Volt leases now to get more traffic (pun intended) - could make for a good used market in 2 years when the leases are up.



daniel

GM is simply using the lease offer as advertising. Putting them in driveways across the nation gives the car tremendous exposure, as it will be looked upon by your neighbors, friends and relatives. People are slow to adopt new vehicle technologies. Even so, the Volt is outpacing the initial sales of the Prius. While total global sales of the Prius since introduction have reached 2.8 million units this year, from the introduction in Japan in 1997, the US in 2000, sales by 2003 were a mere 24,000 units.

The best lease deal was in August at $199/mo.

Brian Elfert
10-11-2012, 7:23 PM
There has been recent news that it now takes 1 barrel of oil to extract 3 barrels of oil. This ratio was as high as 100 to 1 when oil production first started. There are predictions that 1 to 1 could be coming soon driving up prices.

Using a lot of oil to produce oil probably works when prices are high, but who knows if prices ever drop again.

ray hampton
10-11-2012, 8:29 PM
There has been recent news that it now takes 1 barrel of oil to extract 3 barrels of oil. This ratio was as high as 100 to 1 when oil production first started. There are predictions that 1 to 1 could be coming soon driving up prices.

Using a lot of oil to produce oil probably works when prices are high, but who knows if prices ever drop again.

If it take one barrel of oil to extract one barrel then the refinery will consume all of the oil,I will not pay for oil that I can not consume

Jim Matthews
10-11-2012, 9:08 PM
California gas prices rose when the Chevron refinery had a forced closure, a Chevron pipeline control system failure and a temporary shutdown at Exxon in Torrance, CA.

These spikes were due to the reduction in availability, and increased cost to purchase gas to pump.
* Neither regulation nor speculation caused this *

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_21710958/california-gasoline-prices-soar-amid-refinery-and-pipeline

Brian Elfert
10-14-2012, 10:30 PM
If it take one barrel of oil to extract one barrel then the refinery will consume all of the oil,I will not pay for oil that I can not consume

I suspect what they mean is that if you extract two barrels of oil from the ground it will take one of those two barrels consumed as energy to extract the two barrels of oil. Right now if they extract four barrels of oil one barrel is converted to energy to extract those four barrels.

Brian Elfert
10-14-2012, 10:33 PM
California gas prices rose when the Chevron refinery had a forced closure, a Chevron pipeline control system failure and a temporary shutdown at Exxon in Torrance, CA.

These spikes were due to the reduction in availability, and increased cost to purchase gas to pump.
* Neither regulation nor speculation caused this *


But, the interesting thing is stations seem to have plenty of fuel to sell. If the lack of supply was enough to raise prices dramatically wouldn't supplies run out. I'm sure some people do cut out on some driving with the high prices, but folks still have to commute to work. There are stations that have closed, but reports are they closed due to losing money, not lack of gasoline to sell.

Rich Riddle
10-15-2012, 7:32 PM
It's been a while since the sharp spike in California gas prices. Have you members of the Creek living out there seen a noticeable drop in prices? Are you back to "normal" gas prices?

Steven Hsieh
10-15-2012, 8:34 PM
It's been a while since the sharp spike in California gas prices. Have you members of the Creek living out there seen a noticeable drop in prices? Are you back to "normal" gas prices?

Where I live it has gone down for 3 cents.

Rich Riddle
10-15-2012, 11:08 PM
Where I live it has gone down for 3 cents.

Isn't it amazing that it can jump thirty cents overnight yet take weeks and weeks to get back down?

David Weaver
10-16-2012, 8:31 AM
The decline is probably where station owners make their money. Our local station owner does, at least.

John Pratt
10-16-2012, 9:16 AM
What I find more amazing is that all the gas prices in my area go up at exactly the same time and amount, but of course collusion among separate businesses to set prices is illegal. ??? I can remember when I was younger there were stations that would have "Gas Wars" between each other to gain customer base. I haven't seen one of those in a very, very, long time. Now they all seem to be pretty much on the same sheet of music. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but ....

David Weaver
10-16-2012, 9:21 AM
If they set their price based on the spot market, it would be kind of difficult for them to have drastically different prices. They do have a very rational reason for doing it like that, and it's as simple as being able to pay to fill the tanks the next time the gas truck comes.

Brian Elfert
10-16-2012, 10:05 AM
I find it interesting that all stations in a given metro area probably pay around the same spot price, but the price charged can vary by up to 30 cents between different cities and neighborhoods. Inner city neighborhoods tend to have some of the highest prices I suspect because station owners know most of their customers don't have another choice. My suburban neighborhood is always on the high side for prices and prices 10 miles away in another suburb are usually 10 to 20 cents less.

Ole Anderson
10-16-2012, 10:09 AM
I would like to see a pie chart showing into whose pockets which portion of each retail dollar of gasoline went. Things like oil rights, prospecting, production, crude transportation, refining, distribution, final sales. And what the actual cost is for each pocket. I suppose the folks in the middle east would show a much higher profit per barrel at the well head than the folks in Canada processing oil sands. And that would probably explain why they have money to build islands in the sea and indoor snow skiing emporiums in the Abu Dhabi deserts. But still, I consider it fortunate that we don't pay for gasoline what the Europeans have to pay. I guess if we had to pay $7-8 dollars per gallon, we would have a whole lot less SUV's and trucks cruising around carrying one person to work. Hey, and I am as guilty as the next person.

Here in MI, we are paying 12 to 13 cents per kwh for electricity. If I were in CA paying $600 for the same amount of electricity I get here for $150, I would start looking at putting solar panels on my roof. With that sunshine and all...

And regarding LP or propane, I see that it is a byproduct of BOTH oil refineries and natural gas processing. I never knew that.

And I guess we can complain about high gasoline taxes or bad roads. Imagine how bad the roads would be without funding from gas taxes.

Kees Soeters
10-16-2012, 11:24 AM
Complaining? Where i live you have to pay $9.33/gallon nowadays and it's still going up every day.. (=1.88/L)

Kees

Brian Elfert
10-16-2012, 11:29 AM
Europeans actually pay LESS at wholesale for gas than we do! The retail cost is much higher due to taxes designed in part to discourage fuel consumption.

Rich Riddle
10-16-2012, 12:15 PM
Complaining? Where i live you have to pay $9.33/gallon nowadays and it's still going up every day.. (=€1.88/L)

KeesKees, this summer in Europe I paid about that per liter. The difference being that in Europe one doesn't have the long distances to travel we experience in the United States. After two weeks in Europe my credit cards reflected no more total gasoline expense than usual, perhaps less. I traveled daily, but the places were closer. Also, socialism proves expensive. We're learning that in the United States.

Jim Matthews
10-16-2012, 5:26 PM
My belief - we'd be a lot better off by developing battery powered cars than fuel cell cars that use hydrogen.Mike

Have you read this article (http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/10/nitrogen-cycle) in The Economist about cars running on liquid Nitrogen?
It would be nice to have a motive source that is neither explosive nor difficult to produce...

Jim Matthews
10-16-2012, 5:33 PM
After the second World War, your side of the Atlantic got new rail lines, we got the US Interstate highway system.

Rail transit in the US suffers from the "tyranny of distance (http://www.mapsofworld.com/usa/distance-chart/)" - other than the North East of the US,
most major cities are at least a day's train ride apart, not exactly a convenience.

We subsidized the individual traveler, well-planned European rail subsidized groups traveling together.

Mike Henderson
10-16-2012, 6:36 PM
Have you read this article (http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2012/10/nitrogen-cycle) in The Economist about cars running on liquid Nitrogen?
It would be nice to have a motive source that is neither explosive nor difficult to produce...
No, I hadn't read that article. But it's difficult to believe that such a system will be efficient. Liquefying nitrogen requires quite a bit of energy, almost certainly electrical energy. The article says you have to produce 200 atmospheres and cool it to -190 degrees C, which is minus 310 degrees F. Both of those will require a significant amount of energy.

Then, unless you want to do the generation of liquid nitrogen at every service station, you'll need to transport the liquid nitrogen. A product at that temperature will be expensive to transport because it will require heavily insulated vehicles or pipelines. And if you generate it at every service station, it will require a significant investment in equipment at every service station, along with significant energy input to run the equipment.

Then, the longer you hold the material, the more you lose. It's impossible to insulate the storage tank perfectly and some of the liquid nitrogen will be constantly boiling away. That's true once you put it in the final vehicle, also. You could go out one morning an find you don't have any "fuel" because its all boiled away.

And liquid nitrogen is dangerous. Should enough of it come in contact with skin, it can cause "frostbite". Also, if you have your car in the garage and the ventilation is not good, the air in the garage could become deficient in oxygen, which could cause someone to pass out or even to die.

The article states that the engine may be less expensive because it does not have to be built from materials that can tolerate heat. But it must be built from materials that can tolerate extreme cold, which is probably just as difficult and expensive.

It's hard for me to visualize liquid nitrogen as a viable power source for transportation.

Mike

[The basic problem with any system that converts energy to a different physical medium (such as using electricity to make liquid nitrogen or hydrogen from electrolysis) is the losses in the conversion. It's much more efficient to just stay with electricity. It's inexpensive to transport and you get back most of the energy you started with.]

Joe Pelonio
10-16-2012, 7:00 PM
Here it's started to drop again, the local stations went from $4.19 to $4.15, and since I had some errands and waited I actually found one at $3.89 and filled up there.

Chris Kennedy
10-16-2012, 8:14 PM
Europeans actually pay LESS at wholesale for gas than we do! The retail cost is much higher due to taxes designed in part to discourage fuel consumption.

Where do you get this?

Roger Feeley
10-16-2012, 10:38 PM
Stephen, you are right that regulation is one big dynamic at work. Many states have their own formulations of gas and those formulations require special equipment and processes at the refineries. So you have a certain amount of refining capacity linked to a specific market. These days, companies including refiners strive to run their equipment at maximum output to squeeze every last dollar out of their capital investments. So, generally, when there is a huge gas spike in one part of the country, you can pretty much count on some sort of failure at a refinery.

Now to the good part of regulation. Some years ago, I heard Bruce Babbitt on the National Press Club and he gave a statistic that has stayed with me. He said that a modern car running at highway speed produces less pollution than a pre-1979 car parked with the engine off. For myself, I remember what NY City looked like in 1969 when I was there with my family. It was literally covered with soot. I've been there in recent years and the difference is profound.

Finally, another huge dynamic in gas prices is that we live in a global market. I was recently in Shanghai (looked and smelled like NY in '69) and I can tell you that the Chinese have embraced the automobile. Those cars need gas and that takes a lot of gas off of the world market. Same with India.

The absolute best thing we can do is convert about 10% or more of our cars to electricity. Before I get flamed let me make some points here.
1. We don't have to convert completely. All we have to do is reduce demand below supply. We do that and the price will plummet.
2. People will talk about how electricity comes from coal. That's called, "The long Tail-Pipe". I'm fine with that. Look at it this way. Electricity can come from many sources: wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and coal. I think it's inevitable that we will transition to cleaner sources. As we do that, which would you rather convert: 300 million cars or 2000 power plants. Let's get started building the infrastructure for electric cars.
3. Electric cars are cool (If we can work out the batteries). There is almost no power curve and an unbelievable available torque. An electric drive train is far more efficient than a gas one.

Roger Feeley
10-16-2012, 10:47 PM
Hi Daniel,

I want to make a very radical statement that could get me flamed. I would submit that it is not so much the price of gas but the volatility in the price of gas that hurts so much. I'm thinking of the over-the-road independent truckers that sign contracts for a certain amount per mile. These guys take on the risk of fuel price fluctuation and can get killed if prices go up. If fuel prices were to rise slowly and predictably, wouldn't the market then have time to react appropriately?

By the way, the forecast in NGP.png is interesting to me. Can you tell me when we cross over a point where residential solar starts paying off?

Roger Feeley
10-16-2012, 10:50 PM
Agreed Mike,

I said back in 2001 that the biggest blow we could strike against the terrorists would be to make gasoline irrelevant. Imagine if we had spent that trillion dollars here at home getting off oil instead of what we did in Iraq.

Roger Feeley
10-16-2012, 10:53 PM
I've wondered about this. Shouldn't your friend burn that tank up at some point. I know he can use stabilizer but three months is kind of a long time.

Roger Feeley
10-16-2012, 10:56 PM
Take a look at Hyperion power. These guys have a pretty interesting system. They deliver a pre-fueled reactor that you bury in the ground. You hook up you own water lines. It makes steam and you run your turbine. It's designed for small to medium remote communities where it's expensive to run in power lines. These things are like throw-away cameras. When the reactor reaches the end of it's useful life, you ship it back for reprocessing and buy another one. The basic design of the reactor means it can't melt down. It has no moving parts.

Damon Stathatos
10-17-2012, 12:52 AM
...He said that a modern car running at highway speed produces less pollution than a pre-1979 car parked with the engine off.

I'd be real curious as to the reasoning behind that...
Did he mean a pre-1979 car with the engine off but was engulfed in flames ???
Maybe I'm missing something here.




The absolute best thing we can do is convert about 10% or more of our cars to electricity...
1. We don't have to convert completely. All we have to do is reduce demand below supply. We do that and the price will plummet...

How about increasing supply above demand...what would that accomplish and what would be the down-side to that ???



...They deliver a pre-fueled reactor that you bury in the ground. You hook up you own water lines. It makes steam and you run your turbine. It's designed for small to medium remote communities where it's expensive to run in power lines. These things are like throw-away cameras. When the reactor reaches the end of it's useful life, you ship it back for reprocessing and buy another one. The basic design of the reactor means it can't melt down. It has no moving parts.

Good luck with that. I've spent the last eight months and a small fortune trying to get a zoning variance to reduce the parking requirement so that I can add on to my commercial shop space. I think tomorrow I'll waltz in and mention that I also want to include a pre-fueled reactor and see where that gets me. Most likely they'll approve the reactor but deny the turbine.

Jason Roehl
10-17-2012, 1:21 AM
Want to reduce demand? Stop speeding. Instead of those "don't buy gas on such-and-such" days (which don't change total usage), people could drive 45 MPH on the interstate and highways for one day. THAT would make a statement, and use far, far less gas that day.

daniel lane
10-18-2012, 2:18 PM
I want to make a very radical statement that could get me flamed. I would submit that it is not so much the price of gas but the volatility in the price of gas that hurts so much. I'm thinking of the over-the-road independent truckers that sign contracts for a certain amount per mile. These guys take on the risk of fuel price fluctuation and can get killed if prices go up. If fuel prices were to rise slowly and predictably, wouldn't the market then have time to react appropriately? By the way, the forecast in NGP.png is interesting to me. Can you tell me when we cross over a point where residential solar starts paying off?

I wouldn't flame you for the volatility comment - I'm sure it's accurate. Same problem that burns the airlines, FedEx, etc., although they covered by adding a "fuel surcharge" that AFAIK never went away.

With regards to residential solar, it's too complex an issue to summarize in a brief response. In short, it's already paying off for lots of folks in sunnier, drier areas that get more sunlight and pay more for their electricity (e.g. California). However, other items come into play, such as whether or not to install batteries (Will the utility purchase surplus electricity? If not, keep it in batteries.), which add to the capital cost and extend the payback period. Or whether the user pays to install LED bulbs and other energy efficient consumption devices, which reduce the power and capital requirements.

I did a science fair project in middle school an eternity ago that examined this exact question and determined that the useful life of the PV panels was shorter than the payback period, so no dice. These days, efficiency is improved and useful life has extended, so some folks find that they are in the proverbial "goldilocks zone" where it makes sense.



Take a look at Hyperion power. These guys have a pretty interesting system. They deliver a pre-fueled reactor that you bury in the ground. You hook up you own water lines. It makes steam and you run your turbine. It's designed for small to medium remote communities where it's expensive to run in power lines. These things are like throw-away cameras. When the reactor reaches the end of it's useful life, you ship it back for reprocessing and buy another one. The basic design of the reactor means it can't melt down. It has no moving parts.

I looked for this - company name is now Gen4 Energy - and laughed out loud at what I saw on their website:

243546

Looks like the start of a subterranean meltdown! :P


daniel

Brian Elfert
10-18-2012, 2:35 PM
I want to make a very radical statement that could get me flamed. I would submit that it is not so much the price of gas but the volatility in the price of gas that hurts so much. I'm thinking of the over-the-road independent truckers that sign contracts for a certain amount per mile. These guys take on the risk of fuel price fluctuation and can get killed if prices go up. If fuel prices were to rise slowly and predictably, wouldn't the market then have time to react appropriately?


Any trucker who doesn't have a fuel surcharge in their contract is probably going to lose money. The EIA publishes diesel cost data every week that trucking companies use to calculate fuel surcharges.

I think that the recent run up in fuel prices is what gets people upset. If fuel prices had gone up at the rate of inflation since say 1970 we would probably be around the same price, but the increase would have been gradual. Fuel prices have doubled in just four or five years.

David Weaver
10-18-2012, 2:53 PM
Probably a buck or more of the price has been due to the swing in currency value since 2007. The relative value of the dollar to the yen has been decreased from about 120 yen to somewhere around 80. I don't know what the overall value is relative to the rest of the currencies of the world, but if it were based on the yen, it would cost 50% more just on currency. The cost before taxes is probably about $3, figure on that example it would be $2.

Anyone have an idea about all currencies?

Mike Henderson
10-18-2012, 3:06 PM
Any trucker who doesn't have a fuel surcharge in their contract is probably going to lose money. The EIA publishes diesel cost data every week that trucking companies use to calculate fuel surcharges.

I think that the recent run up in fuel prices is what gets people upset. If fuel prices had gone up at the rate of inflation since say 1970 we would probably be around the same price, but the increase would have been gradual. Fuel prices have doubled in just four or five years.
Yeah, people make a lot of decisions based on what they think fuel will cost. Examples could be the size of a vehicle (and the corresponding fuel mileage) and where to live. Around here, many people made the decision to buy a house some distance from work because they figured they could afford the cost of the commute. As fuel prices go up, the decision can prove to be a mistake, as they see the price of fuel going up much faster than their income.

Mike

Brian Elfert
10-18-2012, 7:22 PM
Yeah, people make a lot of decisions based on what they think fuel will cost. Examples could be the size of a vehicle (and the corresponding fuel mileage) and where to live. Around here, many people made the decision to buy a house some distance from work because they figured they could afford the cost of the commute. As fuel prices go up, the decision can prove to be a mistake, as they see the price of fuel going up much faster than their income.


When the housing market was booming the mantra used to be keep driving until you can afford the housing. Cities at the edge of metro areas had houses being built as fast as they could find workers to build them. Now, many of those cities look like ghost towns. Many lots are empty and there are areas where only a few houses ever got built before the economy went south. Some of the houses have been foreclosed as the owners couldn't afford the mortgage and the high price of gas to get to/from work. Nobody is buying now in these far flung suburbs with the price of gas and the lower prices of houses closer in.

I almost bought a house far out over twice the commute I have now. I knew gas would go up, but I figured on gas going to perhaps $3 a gallon so I am glad I never moved. The extra hour a day on the road would have been a killer too.

Rich Riddle
10-22-2012, 9:00 AM
Here gas is finally down to about $3.50 a gallon, so quite a bit cheaper than when this thread started. I hope the rest of you are seeing falling prices as well.

David Weaver
10-22-2012, 9:04 AM
Still 3.79 here, basically where it's been for a few months. Our stations are notoriously bad about moving very slowly from the top prices, though, I'm sure they do well when the spot price drops.

I'd expect as the election nears, we'll see a drop in gas prices of a quarter or more. It's just good re-election policy if you can influence the news a little bit in the short term (nobody can affect the long-term price except to introduce rules that cause it to increase).

Rich Riddle
10-22-2012, 9:28 AM
I just went to gas buddy and realized the average gas prices one city over are about forty cents a gallon less than here. My truck holds 36 gallons, so that is worth the 5 mile trip.

daniel lane
10-24-2012, 12:16 PM
Just paid $3.899 this morning, so I guess winter blend is finally on the market...

David Weaver
10-24-2012, 12:27 PM
$3.759 here. I feel like i'm getting hosed to have to pay almost as much as someone in California is paying!!

ray hampton
10-24-2012, 5:01 PM
I just went to gas buddy and realized the average gas prices one city over are about forty cents a gallon less than here. My truck holds 36 gallons, so that is worth the 5 mile trip.

I not asking the station name , please keep keep the name to yourself. you can brag all that you want and I will not switch stations

Dave Lehnert
10-24-2012, 5:11 PM
$2.97 gal. here in Cincinnati today.

Rich Riddle
10-24-2012, 10:57 PM
$2.97 gal. here in Cincinnati today.

Where is that?

Kevin W Johnson
10-24-2012, 11:12 PM
$3.26 here in the Shenandoah Valley.

George Gyulatyan
10-25-2012, 1:46 AM
Cutting the consumption back (slow down driving, drive less, etc) would cut the price back, at least temporarily, but the users of it don't seem to want to do that...
Western PA... that puts you somewhere either near Pittsburgh or Lake Erie? It's easy to say "cut down consumption" which basically means "drive less", when you don't live in somewhere like Southern California. In Pittsburgh, it's very easy to drive less. You don't have near the distances nor the congestion that we typically have to take and endure just to get to work. BTW, I did try to move to Pittsburgh about 3-4 years ago. After living there for a couple of months and not being able to get a job, I had to come back to LA :)

When I bought my house, I moved closer to what was then my job. My daily commute was around 20 miles, if that. Sadly the company moved to TN, so I had to get another job. Now, my daily commute is around 97 miles. It takes me about 1.5 hrs to get to work every morning, and about the same to get back home.

I checked the subway routes, because there is a subway station very close to my work, and a station not too far from my house. I could drive to the station in the morning, take the subway, go to work, and walk from the subway station to my workplace... in theory. In practice, the Los Angeles public transportation setup is pure genius! (I mean that sarcastically)... I checked the route I'd have to take. I'd take the subway to somewhere near what we call the Union Station. From there, I'd have to take the bus which would take me to another subway station on one of the freeways. From there I'd take the subway, get off at a station on yet another freeway, take another train, to finally arrive to work after about 2 hours and 45 minutes... Ain't gonna happen.

George Gyulatyan
10-25-2012, 2:21 AM
Most of my neighbors would be thrilled with a bill that was only $543.08. My neighbor just complained to me last night that even after two of his three kids moved out that his is still $700+.

The tiers must vary by area. The Inland Empire is a bit hotter than 15 miles closer to the beach where Mike is located.

My Tiers in Summer:
Tier 1: 512kwh
Tier 2: 154 Cumulative total of 666
Tier 3: 358 Cumlative total of 1024
Tier 4: 512 Cumulative total of 1536
Tier 5: Anything over the cumulative 1536

3 years ago I installed a Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed pool pump, which dropped my electric bill $75-80 per month in the Summer because it was all Tier 5 usage. By doing the work myself, it paid for itself by last Summer. Now that they are cheaper, the payback might be one year with a big pool.
I've put solar panels on my roof producing after efficiency losses, variables in light conditions, etc around 8kWh. I'm paying $145 a month, and I am producing more energy than I am using, so should be getting a refund from LADWP.

David Little 2
11-05-2012, 1:28 AM
Newbie alert....hello from UK.

According to wikipedia;
The imperial (UK) gallon, defined as 4.54609 litres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litre)
The US liquid gallon s equal to exactly 3.785411784 litres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litre)

139.9 per litre is the cheapest I can find here.

So 139.9 per litre, x 3,785411784 = 5.295791086.

Looks like we're paying 5.30 per gallon including 20% sales tax:eek: