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News Release Information

Thursday, March 22, 2018


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

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — February 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $2.697 a gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in February 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 27.7 cents compared to February 2017 when they averaged $2.420 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2018, up 6.6 percent from February 2017. In February, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 80.6 cents per therm, lower than its average price of 88.5 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.697 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in February 2018 was 6.5 cents more than the nationwide average of $2.632. In three of the previous four years in February (2014, 2015, and 2017), Chicago area gasoline prices surpassed that of the nation, ranging from 6.0 cents to 18.1 cents more. In contrast, Chicago gasoline prices were 12.3 cents lower than the national average in February 2016. (See chart 1.)

The 16.2 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in February 2018 was 20.0 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. In the previous three years (2015-2017) in February, Chicago area electricity costs exceeded the national average, ranging from 12.6 percent to 24.6 percent more. In February 2014, Chicago area electricity costs were comparable to the national average. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 80.6 cents per therm in February 2018, 25.2 percent below the national average of $1.077 per therm. Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs in the previous four years (2014-2017) in February were lower than the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent to 22.4 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., core based statistical area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, Newton 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 March 2018 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area was renamed. The indexes using the new structure are now published. 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, 9 divisions, 2 population size classes, 8 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 23 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-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI and the United States, February 2017 – February 2018, 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, March 22, 2018