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News Release Information

Friday, April 21, 2017

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

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — March 2017

Gasoline prices averaged $2.456 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in March 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 36.1 cents compared to March 2016 when they averaged $2.095 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.4 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2017, unchanged from the 15.4 cents per kWh paid in March 2016. In March, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 86.7 cents per therm, up from its average price of 72.5 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.456 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were 7.0 cents higher than the national average of $2.386 a gallon in March 2017. Chicago area gasoline prices in the previous four years (2013-2016) in March also exceeded the national average, ranging from 7.4 cents to 32.9 cents more. (See chart 1.)

The 15.4 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in March 2017 was 14.9 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.4 cents per kWh. With the exception of March 2014, when Chicago area electricity costs were comparable to the national average, Chicago electricity costs in the previous four years (2013-2016) in March have exceeded the national average, ranging from 14.9 percent to 26.5 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 86.7 cents per therm in March 2017, 12.3 percent below the national average of 98.9 cents per therm. Except for March 2014, when Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were 10.0 percent above the national average, Chicago utility (piped) gas costs in the previous four years (2013-2016) in March were below the national average, ranging from 17.7 percent to 20.7 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 April 2017 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 12, 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, March 2016 – March 2017, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States
































Last Modified Date: Friday, April 21, 2017