Late Friday morning, the Sunoco station at the intersection of Routes 112 and 22 in Buxton had a line of cars waiting for fill-ups.

For many, it was the first time in years that they’d seen gas prices beginning with a ‘1.’

“How can you not notice?” said Ed Farlinger, 78, who lives in Hollis. “It seems like it wasn’t that long ago we were paying close to $4. What’s not to like?”

Low gas prices, coupled with equally low heating fuel prices, have come at a good time for Maine consumers. With the Christmas holiday fast approaching, less money in the gas, oil or propane tanks means more money in wallets and purses.

“I’m sure I’ll still spend it, I’ll just spend it differently,” said Krista Poulin, 45, who lives in Saco and works in Buxton. “It’s always nice to have a little extra around the holidays.”

Aaron LeConte of Buxton said he was “a little boy,” the last time gas was this cheap.

“Now I can spend more on Christmas gifts,” he said.

Gas prices in Maine had dipped to an average of near $2 per gallon in January, dropping from $3.70 in June 2014, according to, which tracks prices. Prices crept back up through the summer, topping out near $2.80 before coming back down. The statewide average price per gallon was $2.16 on Friday. The lowest price, $1.94, was in Bangor and other northern reaches, but some southern Maine communities, like Buxton and nearby Waterboro, had prices at $1.99. Many more were running prices just over $2 per gallon.

“A lot of people are talking about how nice it is,” said Denise Anania of Buxton. “Someone posted on Facebook the other day that this station was at $1.99 and it’s been packed since.”

The gas prices can be attributed to the low prices of crude oil. According to the International Energy Agency, the price of Brent crude oil dropped below $39 per barrel on Friday for the first time since 2009. Last week, OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, decided that it would not limit production, a move that could send prices even lower as winter progresses.

The IEA expects oversupply to continue at least until late next year.

In addition to gas prices, the price of heating oil is well below $2 per gallon in most of Maine. The statewide average is $1.97 but in some places, the price is as low as $1.60. Last year at this time, the statewide average was $2.93, according to the Governor’s Energy Office. Two years ago, it was $3.64 per gallon.

For a household that uses 1,000 gallons of heating oil in a given winter, the savings this year would be $1,500 or more compared with 2013.

Michael Tarpinian, executive director of Opportunity Alliance, which runs the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the Portland area, said low prices mean his agency can stretch its dollars further.

“The average benefit right now is about $630, which of course will get you more gallons right now,” he said. Last year, Opportunity Alliance processed 5,000 LIHEAP applications and Tarpinian expects the numbers to be similar this year.

Other fuel sources, including kerosene, at $2.56 per gallon, and propane, at $2.20 per gallon, also are at levels that haven’t been seen in recent years.

Kathy Baxter with the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging agreed that low prices are good news, but she said many seniors are still in need no matter the price.

“We’ve had fewer calls for fuel assistance because the temperatures have been mild, but once they start coming, they usually continue through April,” she said.