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News Release Information

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.499 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in May 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 44.3 cents compared to May 2015 when they averaged $2.942 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in May 2016, 11.9 percent less than the 17.6 cents per kWh paid in May 2015. In May, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 70.7 cents per therm, down from its average price of 75.6 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.499 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were 17.5 cents higher than the national average of $2.324 a gallon in May 2016. In the previous four years (2012-2015) in May, Chicago area gasoline prices were also higher than the national average, ranging from 11 cents to 56.9 cents more. (See chart 1.)

The 15.5 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in May 2016 was 16.5 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.3 cents per kWh. In May 2013 and May 2014, Chicago area electricity costs were comparable to the national average, but prices exceeded the national average by 18.6 percent in May 2012 and 28.5 percent in May 2015. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 70.7 cents per therm in May 2016, 19.4 percent below the national average of 87.7 cents per therm. With the exception of May 2014, when local area costs were 9.3 percent higher than the national average, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs in the previous four years (2012-2015) were lower than the national average, ranging from 13.4 percent to 34.0 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 June 2016 is scheduled to be released on Friday, July 15, 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, May 2015 – May 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: Thursday, June 30, 2016