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BLS identified errors in average price data for natural gas for Chicago from May 2018–July 2018. For more information on errors and correction plans, please visit:

News Release Information

Thursday, September 20, 2018

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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.971 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in August 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 41.5 cents compared to August 2017 when they averaged $2.556 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.0 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2018, similar to the 16.1 cents paid in August 2017. In August, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 85.6 cents per therm, comparable its average price of 86.2 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.971 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in August 2018 was 5.2 cents more than the nationwide average of $2.919. In each of the previous four years in August (2014-2017), Chicago area gasoline prices also surpassed those of the nation, ranging from 9.5 cents to 37.0 cents more. (See chart 1.)

The 16.0 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in August 2018 was 15.1 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.9 cents per kWh. In each of the previous four years (2014-2017) in August, Chicago area electricity costs exceeded the national average, ranging from 8.6 percent to 13.4 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 85.6 cents per therm in August 2018, 18.9 percent below the national average of $1.055 per therm. In the previous three years in August (2015-2017), Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 13.8 percent to 16.1 percent less, whereas local area prices in August 2014 were 5.8 percent higher than the national average. (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 September 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

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, August 2017 – August 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States





























R: Revised.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 20, 2018