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We aren't feeling quite so hosed at the gas pump lately, and Tuesday federal experts pinpointed just how much falling fuel prices will save the average American family in 2015: $550.

That extra cash is the difference between projected gasoline spending in average U.S. households next year versus what families have typically shelled out during 2014, reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy.

According to EIA, the annual, per-family expenditures on vehicle fuel will top out at $1,962 next year. If the forecast holds up, it would mark first time since 2009 that yearly, household gas spending would creep, on average, below $2,000.

The price for regular gas has dropped for 11 consecutive weeks, reaching $2.55 per gallon nationally on Dec. 15 – a decrease of $1.16 per gallon from the 2014 high point in late April.

The dip in gas spending, EIA analysts say, is linked to both lower pump prices and to the use of more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.


-- Bill Briggs