News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, June 19, 2012
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- This year, AAA is predicting more people will be on the roads this Fourth of July, and the reason is lower gas prices.
Prices have dropped about 20 cents in the last month.
The changes in price are affecting local companies. The more money a company is spending on gas, the less money they have for jobs and growth.
To find the cheapest gas around you, visit WRDW's Gas Gauge page.
Companies are constantly watching the gas gauge, and right now, they like what they see.
"We definitely run through quite a bit of it on a daily basis," said Tyler Moulton with Tall Pines Landscaping. "We use gas a lot ... our two to three vehicles every day that we're sending out, all of our equipment, the mowers, the weed-eaters ... everything we use, uses gas."
Last year, his company spent $30,000 in gasoline, so you can bet they're happy to see gas drop below $3.
"We can't just raise our set prices we have with clients on contracts and things like that. Once they're set, they're set, and we can't just raise those because gas prices are going up," Moulton explained.
For the first time since February, the national average is below $3.50 a gallon. AAA is predicting even more relief as the Fourth of July holiday approaches.
"It's definitely good news, but it could go lower," Moulton said.
At $2.95, North Augusta has the cheapest gas in the nation, and local businesses hope that number continues to drop.
“When they go down, then that’s another employee that we can hire and more things we can do with our money,” Moulton said. “More jobs we can get done, more invoices we can get out and, ultimately, more money we bring in.”
And of course, businesses aren’t alone. Everyone is excited about cheaper gas.
“If it’s cheaper, I can ride around everywhere I want,” said Violet Markley. “Everyone will love that.”
Markley says she drives by the gas station every day, hoping for prices to be even lower.
“Oh, I was so excited, I said, ‘Let me go over here and I can fill up more,'” she said after seeing the lower prices.
To put things in perspective, drivers in California are thrilled to be paying less than $4 for the first time in a while.
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