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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


Editor’s note:This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of dan-ruth-tanner.com

The price of gasoline in Dominica has just been lowered to EC$12.01 per gallon. How does that compare to the current price of the same product in the US? After all, it’s been said that Venezuela has been helping Dominica to cope with high energy prices. If true, that would be great. While much energy is being wasted in the relatively well-off US, in Dominica energy costs – translated to what farmers must pay to transport their goods to market, what bus owners pay to transport people, and what everyone pays for electricity generation – is a huge burden to a far less well-off Dominica.

Well, the magic number to convert EC$ per UK gallon to US$ per US gallon is 0.295. (That is, EC$ divided by 2.71 = US$ and 0.8 UK gallon equals 1 US gallon; thus 0.8/2.71=0.295.)

Therefore, the current price of one US gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Dominica equals paying US$3.54 per US gallon at the pump in the US. But I paid US$2.55 per US gallon in Massachusetts this past weekend. That is EC$6.91 for a US gallon, which is 4/5 of a UK gallon. So, EC$6.91 times 5/4 would be EC$8.64 per UK gallon. (Update: My wife bought gas today for US$2.43 per US gallon. That comes to only EC$8.24 per UK gallon!)

If regular unleaded gasoline costs EC$8.64 per UK gallon in the US, why does it cost EC$12.01 (EC$3.37 more) in Dominica? Is this what Venezuela calls “largesse”?

Remember these conversion numbers, they’re handy when you see or hear news about gasoline prices coming from the USA.

  • Multiply the price in EC$ per UK gallon (at most pumps) by 0.295 to get the equivalent US$ per US gallon.
  • Multiply the price in EC$ per liter (at some pumps) by 0.71 to get the equivalent US$ per US gallon.

I think that Dominica deserves a better deal.

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hybrid-car Photo by:Solarnu

In the pass months the price of oil has been rising steadily throughout the Caribbean and the world to a greater extent – reaching record breaking prices. Just this week the Dominica government announced yet another increase in fuel cost. One gallon of gas in Dominica is now stands roughly at ECD$15.00.

Though we can’t control the price of fuel on the world market, but we think of ways on how we can conservation fuel. This will not only be helpful to the environment, but also on your wallet.
I’ve mapped out some helpful ideas which can help drivers conserve fuel and get better fuel mileage.

One thing that most drivers on a whole are not aware of is, great fuel conservation starts before you even get on the road:

  • Service your vehicle regularly, and you will observe a 5 to 25 percent increase in gas mileage.
  • You should check you tire pressure once a month, also keep them aligned and inflated properly – because having tires with low pressure can increase your use of fuel by 5%.
  • Replacing your air filter every now and then is also a helpful.
  • If you are not using your roof-racks, take them off! They add to drag. Unnecessary weight in your car can also take away from good gas mileage (this does not mean that you can throw your sister out of the car to conserve fuel… although, it would help! 😆 )
  • Another way to start good fuel conservation is to plan ahead. Combine your errands into one trip. Think about riding your bike, walking, or riding the bus when possible and reasonable.

Fuel conservation can greatly be improved while you are driving or at the pump:

  • Slow down! There is a reason why you be racing to a gas station when your vehicle is on empty – you are not going to get to a gas station faster by driving faster when the faster you drive the more gas you use! In simpler terms, your fuel usage will greatly decrease when you are driving at speeds above 55 mph. Besides, you will have a safer drive when you slow down, too.
  • Avoid rapid accelerating. In fact, you ought to let up on that accelerator (by driving slower), and when you use the accelerator, use it gently. Maybe that’s why it is called “stepping on the gas.” The harder you step on the gas, the faster you use up your gas. Relax your driving style. Don’t drive aggressively. Accelerate slowly. Driving aggressively can lessen your fuel conservation by 30-40 percent…yep it true.
  • Do not idle. Most cars nowadays no longer need to warm up to run.
  • Turn off your car when you are waiting for someone.
  • Fill up your tank early in the morning and on cooler days. The colder the gasoline is – the more compact it is… you will therefore end up getting more fuel mileage for your money.

Fuel conservation may seem like a long road, but even just doing a few of these things can really help improve your gas mileage. You could possible improve your fuel conservation by 40% or so by following some of these tips.

All of the tips on fuel conservation that we have given you so far have to do with the vehicle that you already have. But if you are planning on going out and buying a new vehicle, consider a vehicle that conserves fuel by design.

If possible and you can afford it, check out the hybrids or smaller cars. A hybrid vehicle may cost more at the onset, but you will surely save money in the end, especially if gas prices continue to rise. If you’re looking for a simple car and don’t need a ton of horsepower – you will get better gas mileage.

Now go out there and start conserving fuel! Or if you’ve some of your own fuel conservation tips, please share them in the comments.

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