The average cost of gas in Connecticut has again reached a new record at nearly $5 a gallon.
Nationally, the average cost of a regular gallon of gas is $4.91. Here in Connecticut, it's even higher at $4.92 a gallon.
The rising cost of gas is putting a big dent in people's wallet and is causing some to change their driving habits.
Some people are prioritizing work and cutting out other activities, like shopping or vacations.
“Don’t travel as far. Maybe do more things in your backyards or something local,” Nino DiPietro, of Newington, said. So that’s pretty much what we try to do as a family.”
Alex Rivera, of Newington, is staying home more often now.
“It’s crazy, it’s ridiculous and the government should be doing something better for us,” Rivera said.
Gas stations along West Street in Cromwell were just a few cents shy of $5 a gallon Tuesday. The higher cost is affected businesses as well as individuals.
Christine Blardo, of MFR Property Services, said her landscaping company is taking a huge hit.
“The prices are going to put small businesses out of business,” she said.
She has three-year contracts with businesses and the prices were set when gas was half the price.
“We were at a $3,000 a month credit limit and we only used $1,900 a month last year. It maxed it out, so they upped it to $5,000. I’m at $4,000. This is terrible,” she said.
“It’s crazy. It’s insane. Pretty soon I’m just going to get a horse and drive a horse to work," said Shannon Mckiernan, of New Haven.
This is a huge frustration for drivers who are just doing the bare minimum and going back and forth to work every day.
The Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, which represents 70 percent of the gas stations in the state, wants consumers to know the high prices don't mean they are making a lot more money.
“Don't forget we have to buy it first so we were the first ones who suffer these price increases because we have to buy it from our wholesaler. And then you have to, then you have to mark it up for taxes. You have to make a little bit on this because you can't keep the lights on if you don't. So it's a very fair business," said Connecticut Energy Marketers Association President Chris Herb.
For gas station owners, it is not a matter of how much you can make per gallon, but rather how many gallons you can sell.
“When prices go up from supplier, in order to pay our rents, we have to do that. Also, we are three gas stations in a row. So we have a lot of competition," said gas station owner Swarnjit Singh Khalsa.
University of New Haven economics professor John Rosen said that, in the past, $4 a gallon was considered the point where consumers would slow down. However, with pent-up demand for travel, demand isn’t slowing down and neither are the prices.
“When businesses and consumers really do start cutting back because they can't take the price increases, that's when the prices will come down. Problem of that is what I just described is a recession,” Rosen said.
He expects gas prices to stay high at least until the end of this year and said that will drive us into a recession.
He said even businesses that are big users of energy, such as airlines or companies that deliver goods are going to have to cut back or raise prices or both.
“Stock up on what you think you're going to need when you see it at a hot price and pay off your credit cards,” Rosen said.
The State Attorney General has been receiving several complaints of price gouging, but up until this point, their investigations have not shown any proof of it.
So why are prices so high? Experts said because of the worldwide impact of the war in Ukraine and the U.S. and other countries not buying oil from Russia. There's also inflation and supply chain problems.