Ethanol Expected to Save Labor Day Travelers $155 Million

Cindy Zimmerman

As temperatures have heated up this summer, so have gasoline prices, with regular unleaded gasoline up to $3.87 per gallon during the week ending August 21, the highest price in nearly a year and well above the long-term average. However, the good news is that ethanol is helping to keep gas prices lower than they would be without it for American families money as they hit the road for Labor Day, according to Renewable Fuels Association chief economist Scott Richman who did the math.

Almost all finished motor gasoline sold in the U.S. contains 10% ethanol, a blend referred to as E10. In June and July, E10 cost $0.40 less per gallon at wholesale than regular unleaded gasoline without ethanol. Assuming a similar discount in August, which is conservative since ethanol prices have declined while gasoline prices have risen, the presence of ethanol will have directly reduced Americans’ spending on gasoline by $14 billion this summer, equivalent to $108 per household, according to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association. For Labor Day weekend alone, ethanol is expected to save travelers $155 million on gasoline purchases.

The savings are even greater for E15, a 15% ethanol blend that is approved for more than 95% of the cars and trucks on the road today. In order to “provide Americans with relief at the pump,” the Biden administration has issued a series of waivers allowing E15 to be sold in conventional gasoline areas this summer. As noted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, similar E15 waivers last summer helped keep a lid on pump prices. Given the compelling economics, RFA estimated that U.S. sales of E15 surged 26% to a record 1.02 billion gallons in 2022.

The moral of the story is to use higher blends of ethanol whenever driving to save more money at the pump. In addition, there’s one more week of the RFA Days of Summer Free Fuel Contest for the chance to win $250 in free fuel.

There are two ways to enter and win:
Submit prices to Register for an account or log in at or use the mobile app. Submit retail station prices for higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85.
Submit pictures of higher blend prices on Twitter. Pictures can be of the fuel dispenser or price sign and should include, at a minimum, regular unleaded (E10) and E15 and/or E85. Include station name, city, and state. Tag @EthanolRFA and include the hashtags: #ethanol #E15 #E85 and #fuelprices (unless those words are already mentioned).

Contestants are entered into a random weekly drawing for a pre-paid credit card to be used for fuel purchases and the final drawing will be next week.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA