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News Release Information

Thursday, June 25, 2015

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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.942 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 97.8 cents compared to May 2014 when they averaged $3.920 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 17.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in May 2015, up from 13.9 cents per kWh in May 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 75.6 cents per therm in May was down from $1.214 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year- analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.942 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were comparable to the national average of $2.832 a gallon in May 2015. Average gasoline costs in Chicago had been higher by 4.7 percent or more compared to the U.S. average in each of the previous four years (2011-2014) in May. (See chart 1.)

The 17.6 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in May 2015 was 28.5 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.7 cents per kWh. In May 2014 and 2013 prices were comparable to the national average; however, in the previous two years (2011-2012) in May, Chicago area electricity costs exceeded the national average by 14.7 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 75.6 cents per therm in May 2015, 18.7 percent below the national average of 93.0 cents per therm. In May 2014, utility (piped) gas prices in Chicago exceeded the nation's by 9.3 percent; however, in the previous three years (2011-2013) in May, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average by 13.4 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 June 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 17, 2015.

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, May 2014 – May 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, June 25, 2015