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18-598-PHL
Thursday, April 12, 2018

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Average Energy Prices, Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington – March 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $2.660 a gallon in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington area in March 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s Regional Commissioner, noted that area gasoline prices were up 10.9 percent from last March when they averaged $2.398 per gallon. Philadelphia-area households paid an average of 14.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2018, close to the 15.0 cents paid in March 2017. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.138 per therm in March was 7.1 percent higher than its price of $1.063 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.660 a gallon, the price for gasoline in the Philadelphia area was close to the national average of $2.631 a gallon in March 2018. Last March, gasoline prices in the Philadelphia area were also close to the national average. From 2014 to 2016, local prices for gasoline in March were below the national average. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

The 14.5 cents per kWh that Philadelphia households paid for electricity in March 2018 was 7.4 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last March, electricity prices in Philadelphia were 11.9 percent higher than the nation. From 2014 to 2016, prices paid by Philadelphia-area consumers for electricity in March exceeded the U.S. average by 14.7 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

The price paid by Philadelphia-area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, was $1.138 per therm in March 2018, 8.0 percent higher than the national average of $1.054 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Philadelphia area were also above the national average in March for the previous four years, ranging from 5.6 percent to 13.5 percent higher. (See chart 3.)

The Consumer Price Index for April 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 10, 2018, 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 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Core Based Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, United States and the Philadelphia area, March 2017–March 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Philadelphia United States Philadelphia United States Philadelphia United States

2017

March

$2.398 $2.386 $0.150 $0.134 $1.063 $0.989

April

2.564 2.479 0.151 0.135 1.061 1.000

May

2.528 2.448 0.152 0.137 1.063 1.036

June

2.465 2.400 0.153 0.142 1.060 1.040

July

2.424 2.344 0.153 0.143 1.064 1.031

August

2.533 2.436 0.152 0.142 1.064 1.027

September

2.831 2.688 0.152 0.142 1.029 1.018

October

2.622 2.545 0.145 0.137 1.034 1.020

November

2.664 2.608 0.148 0.136 1.076 1.028

December

2.596 2.521 0.150 0.136 1.108 1.042

2018

January

2.733 2.596 0.147 0.135 1.090 1.048

February

2.763 2.632 0.148 0.135 1.095 1.077

March

2.660 2.631 0.145 0.135 1.138 1.054

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018