How low gas prices will go & how long they’ll stay there, according to Wisconsin AAA

MADISON, Wis. — Demand for gas is at its lowest level in more than 50 years, and prices are continuing to plummet. Here in Wisconsin, many stations are selling for around $1 a gallon. But how much lower will they go?

Don’t expect prices to drop much farther than that, according to AAA. Nick Jarmusz, from Wisconsin AAA, said local convenience stores dropped straight to the lowest prices we’ve seen so far this century—fast.

As of April 29, the average gas price in the Madison metro area is $1.20 per gallon for regular gas. The national average is around $2. Many Madison stations hit a low of less than a dollar last week.

While AAA says it’s difficult to predict where gas prices will bottom out, prices are starting to fall more slowly. This is because of two main reasons: demand  has dropped to about as low as it can go and oil refineries are reducing production.

There is still an oil surplus though, so for now, both GasBuddy and AAA expect the statewide average will continue to fall.

Now, the million dollar question is: how long will these low prices last?

There’s no need to rush out to fill up, according to Jarmusz. How long prices will stay around a dollar largely depends on how long ‘Safer at Home’ orders remain in effect, but AAA says prices likely won’t start inching noticeably higher until this summer.

Jarmusz said it’s hard to know when Americans will be able to start driving more, but when that does happen, demand for gas will go up, which means prices will too. That’s likely to happen slowly, since there is still an oil surplus.

AAA says it’s hard to tell if Wisconsin drivers can expect prices to stay below $2 a gallon for the foreseeable future, but early predictions indicate the answer is yes. It will likely take most of the year for production and demand to realign. Once the state fully opens up, AAA says there will be pent-up demand for travel, but it is still trying to pinpoint how, when, and what that might look like.