Jerome E. Horton, chairman of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), released California gasoline and diesel consumption figures for January 2011. California gasoline consumption was up 2.7 percent in January, and diesel consumption rose 1.4 percent, compared with last year.

“While gasoline consumption is up slightly, high prices are really hurting a lot of Californians,” said Horton. “Every day, Californians see high gasoline prices which take a huge chunk out of their household budget. This is especially difficult for those who are not able to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle and have to commute long distances to get to work.”

California’s gasoline consumption increased 2.7 percent in January when Californians used 1.20 billion gallons of gasoline, compared to 1.17 billion gallons the same month last year. California’s average price of gasoline rose 10.4 percent in January to $3.39 a gallon, up 32 cents compared to January last year when California gasoline prices averaged $3.07 per gallon. The U.S. average price for a gallon of gasoline jumped 13.7 percent in January to $3.15 per gallon, up 38 cents compared to a year earlier when the U.S. average price for gasoline was $2.77.

Diesel sold in California during January totaled 191 million gallons or 1.4 percent more than the previous January when Californian’s used 189 million gallons. Diesel prices rose 56 cents higher to $3.56 per gallon in California during January, or 18.7 percent higher than the previous January when diesel was averaging $3.00 per gallon. The U.S. average price for a gallon of diesel rose 18.9 percent in January to $3.39 per gallon, up 54 cents compared to a year earlier when the U.S. average price for diesel was $2.85.

The California State Board of Equalization is able to monitor gallons through tax receipts paid by fuel distributors. The figures reported monthly are net consumption that includes Board of Equalization audit assessments, refunds, amended and late tax returns, and the California State Controller’s Office refunds. Figures for February 2011 are scheduled to be available at the end of May 2011.

All monthly, quarterly, and annual figures can be viewed at: www.boe.ca.gov/sptaxprog/spftrpts.htm.