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News Release Information

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — January 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $1.992 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in January 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 14.8 cents compared to January 2015 when they averaged $2.140 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in January 2016, 11.0 percent less than the 17.2 cents per kWh paid in January 2015. The average cost of utility (piped) gas, at 71.7 cents per therm in January was down from 86.2 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $1.992 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were similar to the national average of $2.034 a gallon in January 2016. In January 2015 and 2013, gasoline prices in the Chicago area were also comparable to the national average. However, area gasoline prices exceeded the national average by 16.7 cents and 17.1 cents in January 2014 and January 2012, respectively. (See chart 1.)

The 15.3 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in January 2016 was 14.2 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.4 cents per kWh. With the exception of January 2014, when Chicago area electricity costs were comparable to the national average, prices have exceeded the national average by 17.8 percent or more in the previous four years (2012-2015) in January. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 71.7 cents per therm in January 2016, 20.2 percent below the national average of 89.8 cents per therm. In the previous four years (2012-2015) in January, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were also lower than the national average, ranging from 12.6 percent to 23.4 percent less. (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 February 2016 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

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, January 2015 – January 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States
































Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016