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Friday, September 18, 2015


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Average Energy Prices, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, August 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $3.684 a gallon in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area in August 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that area gasoline prices were 18.4 cents less than last August when they averaged $3.868 per gallon. Los Angeles area households paid an average of 20.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2015, down from 21.5 cents per kWh in August 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.275 per therm in August was less than the 1.322 cents per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.684 a gallon, Los Angeles area consumers paid 34.2 percent more than the $2.745 national average in August 2015. A year earlier, consumers in the Los Angeles area paid 9.3 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has ranged from 2.9 to 34.2 percent above the national average in the month of August during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of August)

The 20.5 cents per kWh Los Angeles households paid for electricity in August 2015 was 44.4 percent more than the nationwide average of 14.2 cents per kWh. Last August, electricity costs were 50.3 percent higher in Los Angeles compared to the nation. In the past five years, prices paid by Los Angeles area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by 37.8 percent or more in the month of August. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of August)

Prices paid by Los Angeles area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.275 per therm, or 36.8 percent more compared to the national average in August 2015 ($0.932 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 24.7 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the Los Angeles area over the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in August has varied between 11.7 and 36.8 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of August)

The Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties in California.

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) and per 500 kWh are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm, per 40 therms, and per 100 therms 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.

Price quotes for 40 therms and 100 therms of utility (piped) gas and for 500 kWh of electricity are collected in sample outlets for use in the average price programs only. Since they are for specified consumption amounts, they are not used in the CPI. All other price quotes used for average price estimation are regular CPI data.

With the exception of the 40 therms, 100 therms, and 500 kWh price quotes, 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 Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricty, and utility (piped) gas, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, August 2014-August 2015, not seasonally adjusted
  Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utillity (piped) gas per therm
Los Angeles area United States Los Angeles area United States Los Angeles area United States


$3.868 $3.540 $0.215 $0.143 $1.322 $1.060


3.757 3.463 0.216 0.141 1.316 1.058


3.523 3.241 0.223 0.136 1.301 1.033


3.187 2.945 0.223 0.134 1.172 1.035


2.829 2.618 0.223 0.135 1.242 1.060


2.540 2.170 0.216 0.138 1.170 1.036


2.867 2.308 0.216 0.138 1.165 1.007


3.371 2.544 0.215 0.136 1.161 0.985


3.229 2.545 0.217 0.137 1.124 0.947


3.898 2.832 0.217 0.137 1.124 0.930


3.625 2.889 0.206 0.143 1.261 0.942


4.022 2.893 0.206 0.142 1.259 0.933


3.684 2.745 0.205 0.142 1.275 0.932


Last Modified Date: Friday, September 18, 2015