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News Release Information

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.690 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in December 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 25.7 cents compared to December 2016 when they averaged $2.433 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2017, up 6.8 percent from December 2016. In December, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 85.4 cents per therm, higher than its average price of 83.6 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.690 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were 16.9 cents higher than the $2.521 national average in December 2017. In December 2016 and December 2013, Chicago area gasoline prices were 14.4 cents and 6.3 cents higher than the national average, respectively. Chicago area gasoline prices in December 2014 and December 2015 were comparable to the national average. (See chart 1.)

The 15.8 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in December 2017 was 16.2 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.6 cents per kWh.  In the previous three years (2014-2016) in December, Chicago area electricity costs have exceeded the national average, ranging from 11.3 percent to 23.7 percent more. In December 2013, Chicago area electricity costs were 4.6 percent below the national average. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 85.4 cents per therm in December 2017, 18.0 percent below the national average of $1.042 per therm. Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs in the previous four years (2013-2016) in December were lower than the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent to 21.3 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, 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 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS will introduce a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area will be renamed. The first indexes using the new structure will be published in February 2018. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at:

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 2016 – December 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: Tuesday, January 23, 2018