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News Release Information

Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Baltimore – December 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $2.091 a gallon in the Washington-Baltimore area in December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that area gasoline prices were down 21.5 percent compared to last December when they averaged $2.665 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2015, up 4.7 percent from 12.7 cents per kWh in December 2014. The average price of utility (piped) gas at $0.952 per therm in December 2015 was down 15.6 percent from $1.128 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.091 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid 1.6 percent less than the national average of $2.125 for a gallon of gasoline in December 2015. Last December, gasoline prices in Washington were similar to those for the nation. Prices for a gallon of gasoline in Washington have differed from the U.S. average by less than 4 percent in December over the past five years. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 13.3 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in December 2015 was equal to the nationwide average. Last December, the price per kWh for electricity in Washington was 5.9 percent lower than the national average. From 2011 to 2013, Washington area electricity prices were closer to the national average, differing by 5.5 percent or less in the month of December. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $0.952 per therm in December 2015, 6.7 percent above the national average of $0.892 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Washington area have ranged from 6.4 to 14.9 percent higher than the national average in December over the past five years. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for January 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 19, 2016, 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 in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

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.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, United States and the Washington-Baltimore area, December 2014—December 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and MonthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
United StatesWashington-BaltimoreUnited StatesWashington-BaltimoreUnited StatesWashington-Baltimore




























Last Modified Date: Thursday, January 21, 2016