Hedge Your Fuel Costs Like Southwest Airlines

Autoweek reports that a company called MyGallons allows folks to pre-purchase gallons of gasoline at a predetermined average price for the area where they live. According to the article, the gallons are loaded onto a debit card that the company says is accepted at more than 95% of the nation’s fueling stations. To take part in their service, MyGallons charges an annual fee starting at $29.95.

Miami-based MyGallons counts a membership of more than 4000 and has offices in Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio. It launched a pilot program in April. Verona estimates that the testers paid about $3.10 a gallon for gas, saving roughly a dollar over today’s prices. The debit card system measures consumers’ accounts in gallons of regular unleaded fuel. Pumping premium fuel or diesel debits more gallons, but if you find a station with fuel that’s cheaper than your purchased price, your account is credited with additional gallons. Still, there are some potential pitfalls, including the obvious question: What happens if gasoline prices go back down? MyGallons’ suggestion is to stock up; buy low and use it later if prices increase, though it remains to be seen if consumers would adapt to that kind of purchasing behavior.

It seems like an interesting service to help defray higher energy prices.