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News Release Information

Thursday, January 26, 2017

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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.433 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in December 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 30.4 cents compared to December 2015 when they averaged $2.129 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 14.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2016, 5.1 percent less than the 15.6 cents per kWh paid in December 2015. In December, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 83.6 cents per therm, up from its average price of 70.2 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.433 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were 14.4 cents higher than the national average of $2.289 a gallon in December 2016. Chicago area gasoline prices were 15.5 cents and 6.3 cents above the national average in December of 2012 and 2013, respectively, but were comparable to the national average in December 2014 and 2015. (See chart 1.)


The 14.8 cents per kWh that Chicago area households paid for electricity in December 2016 was 11.3 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.3 cents per kWh. In the previous 4 years (2012-2015) in December, electricity costs in the Chicago area exceeded the national average 3 times, ranging from 17.3 percent to 23.7 percent more. (See chart 2.)


Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 83.6 cents per therm in December 2016, 14.0 percent below the national average of 97.2 cents per therm. In the previous four years (2012-2015) in December, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent to 21.5 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 January 2017 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

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, December 2015 – December 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, January 26, 2017