The average consumer wants to know what can we do about gas prices. They seem to be getting higher and higher. Many Europeans have faced high petrol prices for years, the average cost in London is £4.80 to £5.50 per gallon (that's roughly $9 to $11 per gallon U.S.). Londoners also pay a 'congestion charge' to drive within the center of the city, at £8 per day. The reason for this charge is help to reduce air pollution within the city by reducing the number of cars within it. Can that same thing happen here in the United States? Quite possibly.
What Can We Do About Gas Prices?
So what can we do here at home to lesson fuel costs individually? For some it may be relying more on public transportation than on personal vehicles. Cities often encourage car pooling to cut down on pollution especially in the high heat of summer when jam-packed highways and byways threaten the ozone. Car pooling and public transportation are two ways of reducing the amount of gas used. The high cost of fuel is impacting suburban lifestyle more than urban in many areas. Suburbia is a concept that is largely based on the ease of driving in from residential locations to urban employment. Some companies may consider telecommuting as another way to reduce the impact of high fuel prices on their employees.
Use Less Gas
It's easy to say use less gas when answering what can we do about gas prices, but it's also an accurate answer. In some two 'car' families, one member of the family drives the gas-friendly vehicle. For example, a motorcycle versus a car is more gas economical if the rider is comfortable and skilled at using a motorcycle. A smaller, compact car with higher mileage to the gallon is preferable to the SUV that guzzles gas.
Changing jobs is not always an option, but combining task lists to manage time spent driving is. Instead of going out to the store frequently throughout the week, make one trip and try to shop earlier or later in the day rather than in the middle of it. In the high heat of summer, running the air conditioner consumes more fuel than just running the car alone. Use shopping areas that are closer to work or home to minimize driving time. The mall on the other side of the city may have great bargains, but spending three times as much on gas to get there reduces the overall savings.
Summer vacationers are already not traveling as much due to rising airline ticket costs (associated with increased fuel costs) and driving fewer miles. Reducing demand can help encourage a reduction in price.
Do your homework. There are over 40 different regulations governing fuel in different areas of the country at different times of the year. Some regulations are important, others have less impact with changes to more modern vehicles, including hybrids. Exploring what regulations can be safely changed while still protecting the environment may indeed help reduce the cost of fuel.
Invest in Hybrid Vehicles
Hybrid vehicles are becoming more economical every day. Five years ago, the cost of a hybrid versus savings in fuel was not as significant as they are in an atmosphere of rising fuel costs. While fondly remembered are the days of $.89 a gallon, the simple fact is that gas prices are not likely to drop that low again. A significant drop to $3 a gallon would be considered a relief at this point and $2 a gallon a pipe dream.
The sticker price of hybrid vehicles has come down as car manufacturers modify production to meet not only EPA standards but the rising demand of consumers. Ford closed down two main hubs of SUV production over the summer of 2008 because demand for SUVs declined in part due to fuel consumption costs. Demand the changes and the manufacturers will meet them and they, like the consumer, understand the value of the dollar.
You Can Make a Difference
If you're willing to make a few lifestyle changes, the steps you take can have an impact on fuel prices - or at least help you become less dependent on gasoline in your daily life.