Gas Pump

Gas prices in the Madison area have gone up almost 15 cents in a week, mainly due to the simple economic theory of supply and demand, according to a AAA spokesman.

Nick Jarmusz, public affairs director for AAA Wisconsin, told the State Journal on Friday low reserves and a late summer resulted in short supply and high demand, and we are now paying for it.

"It's an unusual phenomenon for this time of year," Jarmusz said. "Supplies are normally on the rise."

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.52 in the Madison metro area, six cents higher than Thursday and 14 cents more than a week ago.

A month ago, gas was $2.31 a gallon and only $2.09 a gallon a year ago, according to

The low supply was due in part to what's called turnaround at the refineries, when oil companies conduct planned maintenance.

Some refineries down South pushed back maintenance plans because they had to do repairs after Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast, according to

Warm weather far into the fall had a lot to do with high demand for gas in Wisconsin.

"People took advantage of road trips during the longer summer," Jarmusz said. "Demand did not fall off."

The Midwest is one of the few regions in the country experiencing a spike in gas prices, the Far West being another, but Southern drivers are paying less than normal.

What to expect the rest of the year?

"It's difficult to say," Jarmusz said. "Demand is tapering off and most refineries are past their turnarounds, so we could see lower prices by December."