Gas prices are incredibly high right now and only getting worse. I always shop around for the best gas prices. Driving around searching on empty, of course. Who can afford to actually fill the tank anymore? Consumer groups say there is a summertime secret that is cheating you at the pump out of billions of dollars.
When it’s hot outside and the gasoline is warm, consumer advocates say you’re not getting what you pay for. Every time you stick that nozzle into your tank on a hot day, you’re getting cheated. I live in Texas where we reach triple digits throughout the summer…yikes!
Here’s the issue…when gas gets hot, it loses energy. Meaning your car gets fewer miles per gallon. Filling up at 60 degrees, and a typical car can get 500 miles. But fill it up when it’s 90 degrees and you get 10 miles less out of that same tank. But, guess what? You’re still paying the same amount at the pump. There’s no way you can tell what kind of value you’re getting when you pull into the gas station. In fact, according to a 2007 congressional report, Americans were paying an estimated 1.5 billion dollars extra…just for that one summer. And gas prices have skyrocketed since.
But it is fixable. There’s technology in the market that would fix it today. Gas pumps with special meters would give you the right amount of gas for your money, based on the heat. Those pumps are available today but the gas stations won’t install them. In fact, they are apparently fighting it. They say installing the new pumps would be too expensive. It would cost 2.4 million dollars…a cost the gas stations would just pass on to the consumer. So, all-in-all, we would have to pay for it.
In Canada, they’ve been doing it for nearly two decades. Now, 90% of gas stations in Canada use these pumps that measure and adjust for temperature. So, on a hot day, you actually get more gas for your money. Consumer advocates say in Canada, no matter the weather, you’re actually getting what you’re paying for. Now, some angry Americans have apparently filed class action lawsuits against gas station chains in 21 states. Calling it fraud. They are hoping to force gas stations to install the high tech pumps. They say it’s an easy fix. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all afford to purchase electric cars? Better for the economy. Better for the environment. The IRS will give you a tax break. And no more worrying about gas prices.

Until next week…you may want to re-consider that car pool to work.
Daun Thompson