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News Release Information

Friday, March 18, 2016

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Baltimore – February 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $1.836 a gallon in the Washington-Baltimore area in February 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that area gasoline prices were down 19.2 percent compared to last February when they averaged $2.272 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2016, up 3.8 percent from 13.0 cents per kWh in February 2015. The average price of utility (piped) gas at $0.960 per therm in February 2016 was down 11.7 percent from $1.087 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $1.836 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid close to the national average of $1.833 for a gallon of gasoline in February 2016. Last February, gasoline prices in Washington were also similar to those for the nation. Prices for a gallon of gasoline in Washington have differed from the U.S. average by less than two percent in February over the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 13.5 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in February 2016 was similar to the nationwide average. Last February, the price per kWh for electricity in Washington was 5.8 percent lower than the national average. From 2011 to 2013, Washington area electricity prices were closer to the national average, differing by 5.4 percent or less in the month of February. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $0.960 per therm in February 2016, 7.3 percent above the national average of $0.895 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Washington area have ranged from 7.9 to 17.3 percent higher than the national average in February from 2012 through 2015. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for March 2016 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, April 14, 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, February 2015-February 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and MonthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
United StatesWashington-BaltimoreUnited StatesWashington-BaltimoreUnited StatesWashington-Baltimore


$ 2.308$ 2.272$ 0.138$ 0.130$ 1.007$ 1.087


























Last Modified Date: Friday, March 18, 2016