News Release Information

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose – September 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $2.796 a gallon in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area in September 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down $0.269 compared to last September when they averaged $3.065 per gallon. San Francisco area households paid an average of 20.0 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in September 2016, down from 22.7 cents per kWh in September 2015. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.618 per therm in September was 11.9 cents more than the $1.499 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.796 a gallon, San Francisco area consumers paid 23.2 percent more than the $2.269 national average in September 2016. A year earlier, consumers in the San Francisco area paid 24.4 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has ranged from 7.5 to 24.4 percent above the national average in the month of September during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 20.0 cents per kWh San Francisco households paid for electricity in September 2016 was 43.9 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.9 cents per kWh. Last September, electricity costs were 61.0 percent higher in San Francisco compared to the nation. In each of the past five years, prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by at least 43.9 percent in the month of September. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.618 per therm, or 69.6 percent above the national average in September 2016 ($0.954 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 62.8 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in September in the San Francisco area has varied between 26.0 percent and 69.6 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma 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) 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, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, September 2015-September 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States


$3.065 $2.463 $0.227 $0.141 $1.499 $0.921


2.856 2.357 0.227 0.136 1.499 0.909


2.769 2.249 0.172 0.134 1.227 0.903


2.688 2.125 0.172 0.133 1.235 0.892


2.668 2.034 0.187 0.134 1.299 0.898


2.440 1.833 0.187 0.134 1.331 0.895


2.618 2.021 0.191 0.134 1.070 0.884


2.769 2.196 0.190 0.134 1.368 0.879


2.856 2.324 0.202 0.133 1.397 0.877


2.914 2.422 0.200 0.138 1.342 0.891


2.867 2.287 0.200 0.139 1.403 0.931


2.705 2.218 0.200 0.139 1.632 0.943


2.796 2.269 0.200 0.139 1.618 0.954


Last Modified Date: Thursday, October 27, 2016