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Friday, January 12, 2018

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Average Energy Prices, Washington-Baltimore – December 2017

Gasoline prices averaged $2.494 a gallon in the Washington-Baltimore area in December 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Sheila Watkins noted that area gasoline prices were 8.3 percent higher than last December when they averaged $2.303 per gallon. Washington area households paid an average of 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2017, nearly unchanged from the 12.8 cents per kWh in December 2016. The average price of utility (piped) gas at $1.192 per therm in December 2017 was up 7.5 percent from $1.109 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.494 a gallon, Washington area consumers paid close to the national average of $2.521 for a gallon of gasoline in December 2017. Last December, gasoline prices in Washington were also close to the national average. From 2013 to 2015, 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 and table 1.)

The 12.9 cents per kWh that Washington households paid for electricity in December 2017 was 5.1 percent below the nationwide average of 13.6 cents. Last December, the price per kWh for electricity in Washington was 3.8 percent below the national average. In 2013 and 2015, prices for the Washington area and the national average for electricity were identical in December. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Washington area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.192 per therm in December, 14.4 percent above the national average of $1.042 per therm. From 2013 to 2016, the price differentials for utility (piped) gas between the Washington area and the national average ranged from 6.4 to 14.1 percent in December. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for January 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

Consumer Price Index and Average Energy Price Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce 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 will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at: www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.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, 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 2016-December 2017, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
United States Washington-Baltimore United States Washington-Baltimore United States Washington-Baltimore
2016            

December

$2.289 $2.303 $0.133 $0.128 $0.972 $1.109
2017            

January

2.409 2.416 0.134 0.128 1.000 1.150

February

2.360 2.337 0.135 0.130 1.003 1.205

March

2.386 2.350 0.134 0.129 0.989 1.234

April

2.479 2.429 0.135 0.130 1.000 1.274

May

2.448 2.402 0.137 0.130 1.036 1.357

June

2.400 2.368 0.142 0.133 1.040 1.397

July

2.344 2.303 0.143 0.136 1.031 1.387

August

2.436 2.384 0.142 0.136 1.027 1.342

September

2.688 2.709 0.142 0.134 1.018 1.221

October

2.545 2.507 0.137 0.132 1.020 1.208

November

2.608 2.544 0.136 0.128 1.028 1.200

December

2.521 2.494 0.136 0.129 1.042 1.192

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 12, 2018