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16-79-CHI
Monday, February 08, 2016

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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — December 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $2.129 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 50.8 cents compared to December 2014 when they averaged $2.637 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2015, 6.6 percent less than the 16.7 cents per kWh paid in December 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 70.2 cents per therm in December was down from 95.3 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.129 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were similar to the national average of $2.125 a gallon in December 2015. In December 2014, gasoline prices in the Chicago area were also comparable to the national average, however; area gasoline prices exceeded the national average by 6.3 cents or more in the previous three years (2011-2013) in December. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1.  Avearage prices for gasoline, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)

The 15.6 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in December 2015 was 17.3 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.3 cents per kWh. With the exception of December 2013, when Chicago area electricity costs were lower than the national average, prices have exceeded the national average by 15.7 percent or more in the previous four years (2011-2014) in December. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2.  Average prices for electricity, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 70.2 cents per therm in December 2015, 21.3 percent below the national average of 89.2 cents per therm. In the previous four years (2011-2014) in December, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent to 21.5 percent less. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3.  Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

Historical average energy prices for the U.S. and select metropolitan areas are available at www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm.

The Consumer Price Index for January 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 19, 2016.


Technical Note

Average prices are estimated from Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for selected commodity series to support the research and analytic needs of CPI data users. Average prices for electricity, utility (piped) gas, and gasoline are published monthly for the U.S. city average, the 4 regions, the 3 population size classes, 10 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 14 largest local index areas. For electricity, average prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm are published. For gasoline, the average price per gallon is published. Average prices for commonly available grades of gasoline are published as well as the average price across all grades.

All eligible prices are converted to a price per normalized quantity. These prices are then used to estimate a price for a defined fixed quantity. The average price per kilowatt-hour represents the total bill divided by the kilowatt-hour usage. The total bill is the sum of all items applicable to all consumers appearing on an electricity bill including, but not limited to, variable rates per kWh, fixed costs, taxes, surcharges, and credits. This calculation also applies to the average price per therm for utility (piped) gas.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, December 2014 – December 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago area United States Chicago area United States Chicago area United States

2014

 

December

$2.637 $2.618 $0.167 $0.135 $0.953 $1.060

2015

 

January

2.140 2.170 0.172 0.138 0.862 1.036

February

2.425 2.308 0.172 0.138 0.781 1.007

March

2.664 2.544 0.172 0.136 0.811 0.985

April

2.737 2.545 0.175 0.137 0.766 0.947

May

2.942 2.832 0.176 0.137 0.756 0.930

June

3.189 2.889 0.161 0.143 0.774 0.942

July

3.029 2.893 0.160 0.142 0.783 0.933

August

3.115 2.745 0.161 0.142 0.793 0.932

September

2.737 2.463 0.157 0.141 0.786 0.921

October

2.658 2.357 0.158 0.136 0.760 0.909

November

2.332 2.249 0.158 0.134 0.733 0.903

December

2.129 2.125 0.156 0.133 0.702 0.892

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, February 08, 2016