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News Release Information

Friday, January 17, 2020

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  • (312) 353-1138

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — December 2019

Gasoline prices averaged $2.638 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 32.9 cents compared to December 2018 when they averaged $2.309 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 14.1 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2019, less than the 15.6 cents in December 2018. In December, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 76.0 cents per therm, less than its average price of 87.6 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis isused throughout.)

The $2.638 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in December 2019 was similar to the nationwide average of $2.652. Excluding December 2015, when average gasoline costs in Chicago were comparable to the national average, in the previous four years (2015-2018) in December, Chicago gasoline prices have ranged from 17.0 cents less (2018) to 16.9 cents more (2017) than national average gasoline prices. (See chart 1.)

The 14.1 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in December 2019 was 6.0 percent more than the nationwide average cost of 13.3 cents per kWh. Average electricity costs in Chicago were higher than the national average in the previous four years (2015-2018) in December, ranging from 11.3 percent to 17.3 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 76.0 cents per therm in December 2019, 28.1 percent less than the national average of $1.057 per therm. In each of the previous four years (2015-2018) in December, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 14.0 percent to 21.3 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, 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 January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

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, December 2018 – December 2019, 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, January 17, 2020