Report: Americans saved $14B on gasoline in 2014

Gas prices at a Costco station in Westminster, Colorado, December 23, 2014.
Rick Wilking | Reuters

Low oil prices have made for many happy consumers in 2014. According to a report by AAA, Americans collectively saved an estimated $14 billion on gasoline compared to the previous year.

"U.S. drivers ended the year on a high note with gas prices plummeting over the last few months," said Avery Ash, AAA spokesman. "Cheaper gas prices have helped to improve the economy by boosting both consumer confidence and disposable income."

Most of the savings came in the past few months. U.S. households saved an average of about $115 on gas this year, compared to 2013. The savings balloon to $22 billion when compared to 2012.

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The annual average price of gas was $3.34 per gallon, about 15 cents less than last year's annual average. The highest daily national average of the year was $3.70 per gallon on April 28. The lowest was $2.26 on December 31.

The cheapest gas prices were in South Carolina for a third year in a row. Hawaii had the most expensive.

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Although it will be difficult to predict gas prices in 2015 due to uncertainty around crude oil costs, the savings are expected to continue.

"Next year promises to provide much bigger savings to consumers as long as crude oil remains relatively cheap," continued Ash. "It would not be surprising for U.S. consumers to save $50-$75 billion on gasoline in 2015 if prices remain low."

If that happens, it could help spur the economy by boosting spending on the part of both consumers and businesses. That might eventually translate into less unemployment and better wages.