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15-65-CHI
January 27, 2015

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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha – December 2014

Gasoline prices averaged $2.637 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in December 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 75.9 cents compared to December 2013 when they averaged $3.396 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2014, up from 12.5 cents per kWh in December 2013. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 95.3 cents per therm in December was up from 87.1 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.637 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago were similar to the national average of $2.618 a gallon in December 2014. Average gasoline costs in Chicago had been higher by 6.3 cents or more, compared to the U.S. average for the previous four Decembers (2010-2013). (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of December)

The 16.7 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in December 2014 was 23.7 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last December, electricity costs in Chicago were 4.6 percent lower than the nation. With the exception of December 2013, Chicago area electricity costs have exceeded the national average by 15.2 percent or more over the past five Decembers. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the Unites States, 2010-2014 (as of December)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 95.3 cents per therm in December 2014, 10.1 percent below the national average of $1.060 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Chicago area have been below the national average over the previous five Decembers, ranging from 10.1 percent below in December 2014 to December 2010’s 22.8 percent difference. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States 2010-2014 (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 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 7:30 a.m. (CT).


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 2013 - December 2014, 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

2013

 

December

$3.396 $3.333 $0.125 $0.131 $0.871 $0.998

2014

 

January

3.545 3.378 0.138 0.134 0.909 1.040

February

3.603 3.422 0.138 0.134 0.969 1.078

March

3.919 3.590 0.138 0.135 1.269 1.154

April

4.044 3.717 0.139 0.131 1.394 1.137

May

3.920 3.745 0.139 0.136 1.214 1.111

June

4.051 3.750 0.161 0.143 1.158 1.088

July

3.769 3.690 0.160 0.143 1.186 1.093

August

3.635 3.540 0.162 0.143 1.122 1.060

September

3.671 3.463 0.164 0.141 1.009 1.058

October

3.366 3.241 0.167 0.136 0.885 1.033

November

3.063 2.945 0.149 0.134 0.906 1.035

December

2.637 2.618 0.167 0.135 0.953 1.060

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, January 27, 2015