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News Release Information

Monday, September 22, 2014

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Baltimore – August 2014

Gasoline prices averaged $3.478 a gallon in the Washington-Baltimore area in August 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that area gasoline prices decreased 4.3 percent from last August when they averaged $3.636 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 13.1 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2014, down 5.8 percent since August 2013. In contrast, the average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.044 per therm in August increased 3.3 percent from a year ago (All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.478 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid close to the national average of $3.540 for gasoline in August 2014. A year earlier, the price for a gallon of gasoline in the Washington area was also similar to the national average. In fact, the local prices for a gallon of gasoline in August have differed by less than 3 percent from the national average in each of the last five years. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 13.1 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in August 2014 was 8.4 percent lower than the nationwide average of 14.3 cents. Last year, electricity prices for consumers in Washington were close to those for the nation. In fact, in the month of August, local prices for electricity were similar to those for the nation from 2011 to 2013. (See chart 2.)

In August 2014, the price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, at $1.044 per therm, was 1.5 percent less than the national average of $1.060. A year earlier, local area prices for natural gas were also similar to those nationwide. In contrast, from 2010 to 2012, the per-therm cost for natural gas in Washington exceeded the U.S. average by 13 percent or more in the month of August. (See chart 3.)


The Washington-Baltimore, D.C.-Md.-Va.-W.Va. Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, and Washington in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, King George, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the counties of Berkeley and Jefferson in West Virginia.

 Additional information

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.

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.

Table 1. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, gasoline, and electricity, United States and the Washington-Baltimore area, October 2013-October 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
United States Washington- Baltimore United States Washington- Baltimore United States Washington- Baltimore


3.658 3.636 0.137 0.139 1.003 1.011


3.616 3.525 0.137 0.140 1.000 1.054


3.434 3.400 0.132 0.135 0.999 1.080


3.310 3.330 0.130 0.131 0.999 1.106


3.333 3.438 0.131 0.131 0.998 1.101


3.378 3.443 0.134 0.130 1.040 1.115


3.422 3.393 0.134 0.129 1.078 1.175


3.590 3.545 0.135 0.129 1.154 1.333


3.717 3.680 0.131 0.129 1.137 1.229


3.745 3.700 0.136 0.129 1.111 1.169


3.750 3.688 0.143 0.128 1.088 1.174


3.690 3.664 0.143 0.129 1.093 1.150


3.540 3.478 0.143 0.131 1.060 1.044


Last Modified Date: Monday, September 22, 2014