SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) – The Attorney General’s office is looking into claims of price gouging across the Bay State as consumers continue to see an increase in gas prices.
Western Mass News spoke with travel experts to find out some ways you can save at the pump as gas prices continue to rise.
Drivers have started looking for ways to save at the pump, but some gas stations may be taking advantage of the situation.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office said that they are currently investigating a dozen claims of price gouging at gas stations across the state, two in western Massachusetts: one from Westfield, and one from Springfield.
“People are really getting hurt at the pump right now,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “The last couple of weeks especially.”
Price gouging is not just an increase in prices at the pump, as those prices are set in the free market economy.
However, it is unlawful to conspire to raise gas prices with competitors, or to set a fixed price.
The Attorney General’s office has asked anyone who has evidence of price gouging to file a formal complaint.
“If people have concerns about price gouging, they should report those concerns to our office and we’ll take a look,” Attorney General Healey told us.
While you may have noticed gas prices going down slightly over the last week, AAA experts said that does not mean prices will continue on a downward trend since any development overseas could lead to another price increase in oil.
“When we price in a conflict, we might over-price in the beginning, and then it starts to adjust once we come to terms with reality,” AAA Northeast spokesperson Mark Schieldrop told us.
However, there are ways you can save, starting with the gas pedal.
AAA experts said to save money on gas, when you are at a red light or a stop sign, try to accelerate slowly, instead of slamming on the gas.
“Cars lose efficiency drastically above 55 mph because of drag, so if you can ease up on your gas pedal a little bit, keep a little bit more following distance,” Schieldrop said.
AAA also suggested keeping up with the maintenance of your car, like filling your tires with air, and keeping up with your oil changes.
You should also shop around and utilize any grocery store or wholesale club discounts.
Lastly, if you can skip the drive-thru line at your local coffee shop or fast-food spot, that might help, too.
“When your car is sitting and idling in that drive-thru line, you’re consuming fuel,” Shieldrop said. “Ten minutes of idling can burn a cup of gasoline.”
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