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15-715-CHI
Thursday, April 30, 2015

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Average Energy Prices, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint — March 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $2.419 a gallon in the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint area in March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down $1.321 compared to last March when they averaged $3.740 per gallon. Detroit area households paid an average of 14.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2015, down from 14.8 cents per kWh in March 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 85.6 cents per therm in March was down from 87.4 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $2.419 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Detroit area were lower than the national average of $2.544 a gallon in March 2015. In March 2014, gasoline costs in Detroit exceeded the nation's by 4.2 percent; however, in the previous three Marchs (2011-2013), Detroit area gasoline prices were comparable to the national average. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of March)

The 14.3 cents per kWh that Detroit households paid for electricity in March 2015 was 5.1 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.6 cents per kWh. In the four previous Marchs (2011-2014), electricity costs in Detroit were higher by 5.5 percent or more compared to the national average. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of March)

Prices paid by Detroit area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 85.6 cents per therm in March 2015, 13.1 percent below the national average of 98.5 cents per therm. In the two previous Marchs (2013-14), utility (piped) gas prices in Detroit were below the national average by 9.1 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of March)

The Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, Mich. Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) covered in this release is comprised of Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties in Michigan.

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 April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).


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 from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200, Federal Relay Services: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint and the United States, March 2014 — March 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Detroit area United States Detroit area United States Detroit area United States

2014

 

March

$3.740 $3.590 $0.148 $0.135 $0.874 $1.154

April

3.781 3.717 0.148 0.131 0.848 1.137

May

3.792 3.745 0.148 0.136 0.882 1.111

June

3.967 3.750 0.153 0.143 0.890 1.088

July

3.798 3.690 0.153 0.143 0.889 1.093

August

3.562 3.540 0.153 0.143 0.882 1.060

September

3.552 3.463 0.153 0.141 0.921 1.058

October

3.240 3.241 0.152 0.136 0.915 1.033

November

2.984 2.945 0.149 0.134 0.920 1.035

December

2.583 2.618 0.149 0.135 0.919 1.060

2015

 

January

1.955 2.170 0.143 0.138 0.920 1.036

February

2.259 2.308 0.143 0.138 0.881 1.007

March

2.419 2.544 0.143 0.136 0.856 0.985

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015