Locking in Lower Gas Prices

A new site allows customers to save by prepaying for gallons.

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MyGallons.com, a new company, offers an intriguing solution to rising gas prices. It lets customers buy gallons ahead of time based on the current prices in their area—in theory, locking in a lower price—and then redeem those gallons at a later date, regardless of any price increases in the interim.

The first question, of course, is what happens if gas prices go down? Are customers stuck, having already paid the higher price?

Steve Verona, the 39-year-old consultant who founded MyGallons.com, says most people will simply hold onto their prepurchased gallons until the prices go back up again. And what if prices are currently at their peak and don't go up again?

Verona says that's unlikely. "Very few analysts expect prices to come down...because current demand is increasing, while supply has stayed steady. We're talking years, if not decades, before [proposed] solutions have any impact. In the interim, prices should continue to rise," Verona says. He adds that if customers opt to drop out of the program, they can get a refund for their purchased gallons.

Verona says the company will make money from the annual membership fee (about $30), the interest float on the money that is paid before the gas is redeemed, and advertising on its website.