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Thursday, June 13, 2019

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.797 a gallon in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area in May 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 May when they averaged $2.856 per gallon. Baltimore-area households paid an average of 13.1 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in May 2019, 5.6 percent higher than its price of 12.4 cents in May 2018. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.058 per therm in May was close to its price of $1.057 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.797 a gallon, the price for gasoline in the Baltimore area was 5.6 percent lower than the national average of $2.963 a gallon in May 2019. Gasoline prices in the Baltimore area were below the national average in May for the previous four years, ranging from 3.1 percent to 7.1 percent lower. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 13.1 cents per kWh that Baltimore households paid for electricity in May 2019 was 3.7 percent lower than the nationwide average cost of 13.6 cents per kWh. Last May, electricity prices in Baltimore were 8.8 percent lower than the nation. In 2016 and 2017, prices paid by Baltimore-area consumers for electricity in May exceeded the U.S. average by 11.3 and 6.6 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 $1.058 per therm in May 2019, close to the national average of $1.035 per therm. Local utility (piped) gas prices were also close to those for the nation in May 2018. From 2015 to 2017, utility (piped) gas prices in the Baltimore area differed from the national average prices by 4.8 to 17.8 percent in May. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for June 2019 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, July 11, 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

           

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

April

2.702 2.894 0.131 0.135 1.095 1.034

May

2.797 2.963 0.131 0.136 1.058 1.035

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 13, 2019