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News Release Information

Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Baltimore – December 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $2.303 a gallon in the Washington-Baltimore area in December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that area gasoline prices were up 10.1 percent compared to last December when they averaged $2.091 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2016, down 3.8 percent compared to the 13.3 cents per kWh in December 2015. The average price of utility (piped) gas at $1.109 per therm in December 2016 was up 16.5 percent from $0.952 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.303 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid close to the national average of $2.289 for a gallon of gasoline in December 2016. Last December, gasoline prices in Washington were also close to the  national average. From 2012 to 2014, prices for a gallon of gasoline in Washington differed from the U.S. average by less than 3.2 percent in December. (See chart 1.)

The 12.8 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in December 2016 was 3.8 percent above the nationwide average of 13.3 cents. Last December, the price per kWh for electricity in Washington was equal to the national average. From 2012 to 2014, Washington area electricity prices differed from the U.S. average by less than 5.9 percent in December. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.109 per therm in December, 14.1 percent above the national average of $0.972 per therm. From 2012 to 2015, the price differentials for utility (piped) gas in the Washington area have ranged from 6.4 to 10.3 percent above the national average in December. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for January 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 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 2015–December 2016, 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 19, 2017