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Wednesday, January 27, 2016


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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Brockton-Nashua – December 2015

Boston area households paid an average of $2.077 a gallon for gasoline in December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was more than $0.70 below the December 2014 price of $2.785 per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.166 per therm in the Boston area in December 2015. Area natural gas prices were down from one year ago when they averaged $1.432 per therm.  The average cost of electricity at 19.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in December was also down from 20.3 cents per kWh spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.077 the price of a gallon of gasoline in the Boston area was similar to the national average of $2.125 in December 2015. One year ago, the local price of gasoline at $2.785 per gallon was 6.4 percent higher than the national average of $2.618. (See chart 1.) 

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)


The 19.4 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in December 2015 was 45.9 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.3 cents per kWh. Last December, electricity costs were 50.4 percent higher in Boston compared to the nation. In each of the last five years, the price of electricity in Boston has exceeded that for the nation in the month of December, by 15 percent or more. The percent difference has widened since December 2012 from a low of 15 percent to a high of 50.4 percent in December 2014. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)


Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.166 per therm, 30.7 percent higher than the national average in December 2015 ($0.892 per therm).  In December of 2014 local prices were $1.432 per therm or 35 percent higher than those of the nation ($1.060). In each of the last 5 years, the price of natural gas in Boston has exceeded that nationally during December,  by 28 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of December)


The Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties and parts of Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; parts of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; part of York County in Maine; and part of Windham County in Connecticut.

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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, December 2014 - December 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and
Gasoline, all types,
per gallon
per kilowatt hour
Utility (piped) gas
per therm




2.785 2.618 0.203 0.135 1.432 1.060




2.297 2.170 0.225 0.138 1.384 1.036


2.255 2.308 0.225 0.138 1.303 1.007


2.437 2.544 0.226 0.136 1.216 0.985


2.411 2.545 0.225 0.137 1.217 0.947


2.685 2.832 0.197 0.137 0.850 0.930


2.757 2.889 0.199 0.143 0.850 0.942


2.753 2.893 0.179 0.142 0.844 0.933


2.592 2.745 0.179 0.142 0.790 0.932


2.364 2.463 0.179 0.141 0.780 0.921


2.180 2.357 0.177 0.136 0.762 0.909


2.172 2.249 0.194 0.134 1.202 0.903


2.077 2.125 0.194 0.133 1.166 0.892


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016