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Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Average Energy Prices, Baltimore-Columbia-Towson – March 2019

Gasoline prices averaged $2.493 a gallon in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area in March 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s Regional Commissioner, noted that area gasoline prices were close to those from last March when they averaged $2.498 per gallon. Baltimore-area households paid an average of 12.9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2019, the same as they paid in March 2018. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.109 per therm in March was 1.9 percent higher than its price of $1.088 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.493 a gallon, the price for gasoline in the Baltimore area was 4.8 percent lower than the national average of $2.620 a gallon in March 2019. Gasoline prices in the Baltimore area were below the national average in March for the previous four years, ranging from 4.4 percent to 7.1 percent lower. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 12.9 cents per kWh that Baltimore households paid for electricity in March 2019 was 4.4 percent lower than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last March, electricity prices in Baltimore were also 4.4 percent lower than the nation. In 2016 and 2017, prices paid by Baltimore-area consumers for electricity in March exceeded the U.S. average by 11.2 and 6.7 percent, respectively, and were close to the U.S. average in 2015. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Baltimore-area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.109 per therm in March 2019, 5.8 percent higher than the national average of $1.048 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Baltimore area ranged from 3.2 percent to 17.3 percent higher in March from 2015 to 2018. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for April 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 10, 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 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, March 2018–March 2019, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Baltimore United States Baltimore United States Baltimore United States

2018

           

March

$2.498 $2.610 $0.129 $0.135 $1.088 $1.054

April

2.693 2.795 0.130 0.134 1.152 1.044

May

2.856 2.963 0.124 0.136 1.057 1.050

June

2.874 2.970 0.124 0.139 1.058 1.042

July

2.824 2.930 0.124 0.139 1.025 1.038

August

2.806 2.919 0.127 0.139 1.012 1.055

September

2.802 2.930 0.127 0.138 1.025 1.030

October

2.789 2.945 0.128 0.136 1.031 1.023

November

2.480 2.733 0.128 0.134 1.095 1.020

December

2.225 2.479 0.127 0.135 1.151 1.085

2019

           

January

2.173 2.352 0.125 0.135 1.149 1.082

February

2.221 2.412 0.129 0.136 1.141 1.051

March

2.493 2.620 0.129 0.135 1.109 1.048

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 11, 2019