Why does summer gasoline cost more?

As a bulk fuel delivery company, we work hard to support local businesses with the fuel they need. We all know that the price of fuel, especially in California, has been steadily climbing for years. Fuel prices fluctuate based on a variety of factors such as supply and demand, global oil prices, and even seasonal weather. During the summer, gasoline prices tend to rise. This price increase is because summer blends of gasoline are refined differently to endure the heat. Let us show you how this works.

First, there is a fundamental concept you must understand, called Reid Vapor Pressure or RVP. Every fuel has an RVP rating. This rating is a measurement of how quickly the fuel evaporates at specific temperatures. It is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. The more volatile gasoline is, the higher the RVP rating will be. Based on this principle, adjustments have to be made to gasoline fuels for summer temperatures to lower the overall RVP rating. Often this is done through additional fuel additives and different refinery processing. Many refineries schedule a ‘shutdown’ in the spring or early summer to switch over the manufacturing processes for summer fuel blends. These shutdowns are also a factor in the increased price of gasoline fuel in the summer.

Reducing the RVP rating of gasoline in the summer has an environmental effect too. The reduced volatility helps to lower emissions and smog levels, especially on sweltering days. Every state has different gasoline blend guidelines to meet state and federal standards. These guidelines are designed to control the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are released when gasoline is burned and are measured as part of the RVP rating. The EPA mandates that summer-grade fuel must be between 9.0 PSI and 7.8 PSI. These standards are typically in effect from June 1 to September 15. Some areas are approved for relaxation of these standards by the EPA while other regions have individual guidelines based on local temperatures and climate.

In California, gasoline producers must follow the Reformulated Gasoline program. This program sets stringent standards for emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles. It was first introduced in 1991. Under phase two and three of this program, refiners are required to meet eight specifications to reduce air pollution from the use of gasoline in vehicles. One of these regulations is a reduced RVP rating. In 2007 this rating was updated to a limit of 7.0 psi for oxygenated fuels and 6.9 psi for non-oxygenated fuels. These standards are subject to geographical areas. In California, the various air basins are categorized for summer fuel standards at different times. Based on this map, in southern California, summer fuel rules are typically in place from April 1 to October 31.

As a bulk fuel delivery company, we know that rising summer prices hurt our clients. Summer is often the busiest time for many of our clients, so it’s when they use the most fuel. That’s why we offer Chevron fuels to our customers. Chevron fuels are produced with Techron, an additive that helps keep your engine clean and protected from deposit build-up. A cleaner engine reduces emissions and will improve the performance of your vehicle. We also offer bulk fuel delivery of a wide variety of gasoline blends for our customer’s individual needs. Speak to our ordering team if there is a specific product you need.

If rising fuel costs are continuing to hurt your bottom line during the busy summer months, check out our fleet fueling program. Using this program, your company can lower the cost of your monthly fuel budget by cutting back on unnecessary fuel expenses, restricting mileage, and using our card lock fueling sites. As part of this program, you will gain access to hundreds of 24/7 cardlock fueling sites across the country. Your team will be able to fill up when needed using their fleet card, and you will be able to track your fuel expenses with itemized reports. Many of our clients who have signed up for this program find that it’s an excellent way to reduce costs and track fuel consumption. Learn more here.

Despite the rising cost of fuel, we all still need it. Many of our clients require on-site fueling or are gas stations. Those tanks need to be filled no matter what time of year it is. That’s where we come in. We offer prompt and safe delivery of wholesale gasoline and diesel for our customers. Our delivery team is highly trained to provide excellent petroleum service. To prepare for your next fuel delivery, we have a few tips to help things run smoothly.

  • Make sure the offload area is clear of debris and that drivers will have easy access to the tanks. For many of our gas station customers, this is relatively easy. But if you require fuel at a remote location or a construction or farm site, please take precautions to ensure that our delivery team has space to offload the fuel safely.
  • Ensure your above-ground tanks are appropriately labeled. Mislabeled containers are hazardous. If our team accidentally offloaded a product into the wrong tank, it would be very dangerous and costly.
  • Verify that your order is correct. We do our best to make sure that every order we deliver is the correct amount and the right product. If you happen to catch a mistake or if an item is missing, please let us know, and we will do our best to correct it quickly.

We have been operating as a bulk fuel delivery provider for over fifty years now in the Southern California area. We’ve seen many of the California fuel standards come into effect and have helped our customers adjust to the new demands. If you ever have questions about the fuel costs, please ask us. Our team actively tracks the many factors that go into the pricing of our nation’s gasoline supply and would be happy to explain any price changes to you. Every business needs fuel, and we are here to help make sure that you get it at the right price and that it is delivered safely. Thank you for choosing Greg’s Petroleum Service for your fuel needs!