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18-272-PHI
Thursday, February 15, 2018

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Average Energy Prices, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – January 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $2.543 a gallon in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area in January 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s Regional Commissioner, noted that area gasoline prices were up 7.0 percent from last January when they averaged $2.376 per gallon. Baltimore-area households paid an average of 13.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in January 2018, 5.6 percent lower than the 14.4 cents paid in January 2017. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.263 per therm in January was 8.4 percent higher than its price of $1.165 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.543 a gallon, the price for gasoline in the Baltimore area was close to the national average of $2.596 a gallon in January 2018. Gasoline prices in the Baltimore area were close to the national average in January for the previous four years, ranging from 2.4 percent higher to 5.5 percent lower. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 13.6 cents per kWh that Baltimore households paid for electricity in January 2018 was close to the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last January, electricity prices in Baltimore were 7.5 percent higher than the nation. From 2014 to 2016, prices paid by Baltimore-area consumers for electricity in January ranged from matching the U.S. average to exceeding it by 9.7 percent. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Baltimore-area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.263 per therm in January 2018, 20.5 percent higher than the national average of $1.048 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Baltimore area were above the national average in January from 2015 to 2017, ranging from 6.8 percent to 16.5 percent higher. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for February 2018 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Consumer Price Index and Average Energy Price Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, Washington DC and Baltimore will have separate indexes and average energy price data. The first releases using the new structure are published for the first time this month. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.


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, 9 divisions, 2 population size classes, 8 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 23 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 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD, Core Based Statistical Area includes Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s in Maryland.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, United States and the Baltimore area, January 2017–January 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and MonthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
BaltimoreUnited StatesBaltimoreUnited StatesBaltimoreUnited States

2017

      

January

$2.376$2.409$0.144$0.134$1.165$1.000

February

2.2412.3600.1450.1351.1421.003

March

2.2822.3860.1430.1341.1600.989

April

2.3752.4790.1460.1351.2341.000

May

2.3262.4480.1460.1371.2201.036

June

2.3012.4000.1390.1421.2431.040

July

2.2322.3440.1390.1431.2291.031

August

2.3182.4360.1390.1421.2321.027

September

2.6762.6880.1360.1421.2361.018

October

2.3512.5450.1350.1371.2141.020

November

2.4652.6080.1350.1361.2031.028

December

2.3892.5210.1350.1361.2351.042

2018

      

January

2.5432.5960.1360.1351.2631.048

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018