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News Release Information

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — March 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $2.664 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in March 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down $1.255 compared to March 2014 when they averaged $3.919 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 17.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2015, up from 13.8 cents per kWh in March 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 81.1 cents per therm in March was down from $1.269 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.664 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were 4.7 percent higher than the national average of $2.544 a gallon in March 2015. Average gasoline costs in Chicago had been higher by 4.9 percent or more, compared to the U.S. average in the previous three Marchs (2012-2014).  (See chart 1.)

The 17.2 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in March 2015 was 26.5 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.6 cents per kWh. In March 2014, electricity costs in Chicago were comparable to the nation’s; however, in the previous three Marchs (2011-2013), Chicago area electricity costs had exceeded the national average by 15.6 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 81.1 cents per therm in March 2015, 17.7 percent below the national average of 98.5 cents per therm. In March 2014, utility (piped) gas prices in Chicago exceeded the nation's by 10.0 percent; however, in the previous three Marchs (2011-2013), Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average by 20.7 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

Historical average energy prices for the U.S. and select metropolitan areas are available at

The Consumer Price Index for April 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 22, 2015, at 7:30 a.m. (CT).

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.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, March 2014 – March 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States
































Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015