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'We don’t go by money’: Gas station owner lowers prices to help customers

“If you have something, you have to share it with other people,” said Jaswinder Singh of Phoenix, whose Sikh religious values factored into his decision.
Signage is displayed on a fuel pump at a Valero Energy Corp. gas station
A Valero gas station in Phoenix, in 2017.Caitlin O'Hara / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

A gas station owner in Phoenix is selling gas at nearly a half dollar less a gallon than other stations in the city as prices across the country hit record highs.

Jaswinder Singh, who owns a Valero Food Mart, was selling regular gas for $5.19 a gallon on Friday, when the average price in the city was about $5.68, according to the AAA. 

Singh has been living in Phoenix for more than two decades. He has three kids, one of whom is in college. He said he works from 4 a.m. to midnight every day and his wife, Ramandeep Kaur, also helps out at the store. 

Jaswiendre Singh and wife, Ramandeep Kaur.
Jaswinder Singh and his wife, Ramandeep Kaur.Courtesy Jaswiendre Singh

Singh has a lot of expenses to cover, at home and at work, from thousands of dollars in property taxes to insurance payments and mortgages for his gas station and home. But he said “helping humanity” and his Sikh religious values factored into the business decision to keep his gas prices low. 

“We teach our children the same thing,” he said. “If you have something, you have to share it with other people.” 

Singh said he can make up for the loss at the pump with purchases inside the store, but he declined to say whether he is selling fuel at cost or less. He did say that he buys from multiple suppliers. 

Most of the cars driving through his station are not Mercedes, Singh said. Because so many customers help him out by doing business at the store, he felt it was important to give back to them during what he called a “crisis.” 

“I have to make the money somewhere, someday, right, but not right now,” he said. “Now it’s time to help people.” 

Due in part to the ongoing war in Ukraine, gas prices nationwide have reached historic highs in recent months, as countries in the West moved to ban oil imports from Russia in reaction to the country’s invasion. The average price of regular gas in the U.S. was $5 on Friday, according to AAA, down a penny from Monday due to a slight dip in demand. 

With hurricane season running into November and no end in sight to overseas conflict, experts are uncertain when prices will start to fall.