N.H. gas, diesel prices holding steady

Shrugging off some minor volatility, gas prices in Manchester and Portsmouth have remained essentially unchanged from the last week.

According to the American Automobile Association, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in Manchester was $2.582 —$0.002 cheaper from last week’s average of $2.584.

Prices in Portsmouth followed a similar trend, with customers paying $2.636 per gallon at the pumps, down $0.002 from $2.638 a week ago.

Prices, however, have been fluctuating by a few cents in recent days. Prices at both locations, for example, dropped by a penny overnight, but are still about 10 cents more expensive than last month.

Average diesel prices also have remained flat in Manchester, averaging $2.656. Portsmouth diesel prices dropped 2 cents in to $2.667 from $2.689.

In the last month, average diesel prices in both locations have increased greater than a dime — 13 cents higher now in Manchester and 14 cents in Portsmouth.

In its weekly report, the federal Energy Information Administration report said the nation’s average price for gas was $2.64, dropping a penny from last week. National diesel prices averaged $2.65, up 3 cents in the last week.

While the price of diesel has been lower than gas for much of the summer, it now is 3 cents higher in Portsmouth and 7 cents higher in Manchester.

Last summer’s extreme prices saw a disparity of nearly 85 cents in Portsmouth, where gas averaged $4.047 and diesel averaged $4.892. In Manchester, there was a spread of 77 cents, with gas averaging $4.023 and diesel $4.795.

Prices for other fuels have been falling over the summer as well. The New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning recorded average heating oil prices on Aug. 3 of $2.220 per gallon, about 6 cents less than the $2.281 reported on July 6.

Propane saw the biggest shift in consumer energy prices, down some 8 cents in August to $2.502, from $2.583 in July.

Kerosene dropped just a fraction to $2.797 in August from $2.802 in July.

First- and second-tier natural gases were down 1 cent in August to $0.8804 and $0.8196 from July prices of $0.8913 for first tier and $0.8309 for second tier. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW