Along with the world market price for crude oil, pump prices in Iowa have been falling.
Tommi Makila of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says drivers are finally seeing some relief, as gas prices in Iowa have fallen about 10 percent from mid-July to mid-August. "It is interesting that when people start seeing $3.40 prices at the pump, they actually think they are low," Makila says.
On August 18th, the average price in Iowa for gasoline with a 10 percent ethanol blend was $3.54 per gallon. Makila says prices vary from west to east. In western Iowa cities like Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Sioux City, 10 percent ethanol blend were as low as $3.44 a gallon on August 18th — while eastern Iowa pump prices were 10 to 20 cents higher. "The prices are still definitely higher than last year, but we are at least getting closer to those levels than we were just about a month ago," Makila says.
The average price for a gallon of E-10 was $2.77 in August of last year. The price for diesel is also on the decline, dropping to $4.23 per gallon. That’s 46-cents lower than it was in mid-July. The Department of Natural Resources also tracks the prices of the fuels that Iowans use to heat their homes.
"For natural gas, the prices have gone down significantly in the last six to eight weeks and that really is good news," Makila says. "Now, we are actually close to the price levels of a year ago. Just six, eight weeks ago (natural gas was) almost twice the price of last year, so that is definitely good news for the many folks in Iowa who use natural gas for heating."
The prices for heating oil and propane are still high, however. "Both of those prices — heating oil and propane — have been going down in the last month, but they are still at quite a bit higher level than last year," Makila says. "Any person using propane or heating oil, they should really be a bit concerned about this winter." Heating oil prices are running 45 percent higher than in August of last year. Propane prices are 39 percent higher.