U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are diesel fuel prices higher than gasoline prices?
On-highway diesel fuel prices have been higher than regular grade gasoline prices almost continuously since September 2004. This trend is a break from the previous historical pattern of diesel fuel prices usually being lower than gasoline prices except in cold winters when demand for heating oil pushed diesel fuel prices higher. There are three main reasons why diesel fuel prices have been higher than regular gasoline prices in recent years:
- Demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils have been relatively high, especially in Europe, China, India, and the United States.
- The transition to less polluting, lower-sulfur diesel fuels in the United States affected diesel fuel production and distribution costs.
- The federal excise tax for on-highway diesel fuel of 24.4 cents/gallon is 6 cents per gallon higher than the gasoline tax.
What do I pay for in a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
What are the projections for U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel prices?
Diesel Prices and Outlook
Average diesel retail price below gasoline price for first time in six years
Retail prices: diesel outpaces gasoline
2011 Brief: U.S. average gasoline and diesel prices over $3 per gallon throughout 2011
This Week In Petroleum discusses petroleum markets. The May 20th, 2009 and March 26th, 2008 editions discuss this FAQ topic in more detail.
Last updated: January 12, 2016
Other FAQs about Prices
- Are the prices that EIA publishes adjusted for inflation?
- Does EIA have energy consumption and price data for cities, counties, or by zip code?
- Does EIA have ethanol price data?
- Does EIA have gasoline prices by city, county, or zip code?
- Does EIA have projections for energy production, consumption, and prices for individual states?
- Does EIA publish coking coal prices?
- Does EIA publish electric utility rate, tariff, and demand charge data?
- Does EIA publish inflation-adjusted gasoline prices?
- Does EIA publish off-road diesel fuel prices?
- How do I calculate diesel fuel surcharges?
- How do I compare the cost of heating fuels?
- How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?
- Where can I get help paying my utility bills?
- Why am I being charged more for propane than the price on EIA's website?
- Why are diesel fuel prices higher than gasoline prices?
- How much tax do we pay on a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What are the different coal prices published by EIA?
- What are the projections for U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel prices?
- What can I expect to pay for heating this winter?
- What do I pay for in a gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel?
- What is the outlook for home heating fuel prices this winter?