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News Release Information

Friday, January 11, 2019

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria – December 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $2.507 a gallon in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area in December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that area gasoline prices were 1.9 percent lower than last December when they averaged $2.556 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2018, close to the 12.7 cents per kWh paid in December 2017. The average price of utility (piped) gas at $1.156 per therm in December 2018 was down 2.4 percent from $1.184 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.507 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid close to the national average of $2.479 for a gallon of gasoline in December 2018. Last December, gasoline prices in Washington were also close to the national average. From 2014 to 2016, prices for a gallon of gasoline in Washington differed from the U.S. average by 2.8 percent or less in December. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 12.5 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in December 2018 was 7.4 percent below the nationwide average of 13.5 cents. Last December, the price per kWh for electricity in Washington was 6.6 percent below the national average. From 2014 to 2016, electricity prices for the Washington area remained at least 6.0 percent below those for the nation in December. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.156 per therm in December, 6.5 percent above the national average of $1.085 per therm. From 2014 to 2017, the price for utility (piped) gas in the Washington area ranged from 6.5 to 14.1 percent higher than the national average in December. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, 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, 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 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MA-WV, Core Based Statistical Area includes the District of Columbia; the counties of Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s in Maryland; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Warren in Virginia; and the county of Jefferson in West Virginia.

 Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, United States and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area, December 2017-December 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and MonthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
United StatesWashingtonUnited StatesWashingtonUnited StatesWashington




























Last Modified Date: Friday, January 11, 2019