UPDATE ON APRIL 30: Gas Buddy is reporting that the average price of gas in the Las Vegas valley is $3.20 per gallon. That's 40 cents over the national average right now, and 50 cents more than the price in the valley last year.
Bad news at the pump. Las Vegas gas prices have hit $3 for the first time in more than 2 years. Contact 13's Tricia Kean is looking at some ways you can save the next time you fill up the tank.
The fastest way to save when you're getting gas is to join any rewards program. Many grocery stores make it easy. Vons and Smith's both offer reward programs. You earn fuel points every time you shop. And with every 100 points you earn, you'll save $0.10 a gallon. Spend more and save up to $1 per gallon. And don't forget the big box stores.
But if you're not a grocery store club member, there's other ways to save. At Shell, their fuel rewards can save you $0.03 a gallon. Spend more and you can save up to $0.35 per gallon. And at Circle K you'll earn $0.06 off with their Easy Rewards card.
Both Clark County and Washoe County are now paying more than $3, the highest since September 2015, AAA reported. The average is $3 in Las Vegas, $2.99 in North Las Vegas, $3.01 in Henderson, $3.13 in Reno, $3.19 in Sparks, $2.84 in Carson City and $2.75 in Elko.
The current national average is $2.66, up from $2.32 last year, for regular gas.
With summer travel season almost here, AAA reported prices will continue to rise as we approach Memorial Day on May 28. Peak prices will likely be between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the final holiday weekend of summer, according to AAA.
Nevada prices jumped 8 cents in just a week as U.S. refineries continue to undergo routine spring maintenance. This is the season when refineries switch from producing their winter blend of gasoline and begin selling the summer blend, which is more refined and better for the environment, but also more expensive.
Gasoline prices are also being driven by higher oil prices. Crude oil was selling for about $65 a barrel on Monday. Oil prices have been steadily rising since last summer when oil was trading for about $40 a barrel.
Nevada's prices are also being driven by heavy travel demand and more people moving to Southern Nevada, AAA reports.
In 2015, the price spike above $3 in Nevada was largely due to an explosion at Exxon Mobil's refinery in Los Angeles, which drove prices in Las Vegas from $2.20 in February to more than $3.20 by May 2015.
There are ways to lessen the rising costs. Joining rewards programs at supermarkets and gas stations can save between $.05 and $.35 per gallon. Big box stores such as Costco and Sam's Club tend to have cheaper gas prices.
If you don't want to sign up for discounts through a store there are apps available to help you locate the cheapest gas prices in your area.