News Release Information

Thursday, March 01, 2018


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

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.793 a gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in January 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 23.7 cents compared to January 2017 when they averaged $2.556 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in January 2018, up 6.6 percent from January 2017. In January, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 80.8 cents per therm, lower 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 is used throughout.)

At $2.793 a gallon, prices for gasoline in the Chicago area were 19.7 cents higher than the $2.596 national average in January 2018. In January 2014 and January 2017, Chicago area gasoline prices were 16.7 cents and 14.7 cents higher than the national average, respectively. Chicago area gasoline prices in January 2015 and January 2016 were comparable to the national average. (See chart 1.)

The 16.2 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in January 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 January, Chicago area electricity costs have exceeded the national average, ranging from 13.4 percent to 24.6 percent more. In January 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 80.8 cents per therm in January 2018, 22.9 percent below the national average of $1.048 per therm. Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs in the previous four years (2014-2017) in January were lower than the national average, ranging from 12.4 percent to 20.2 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 February 2018 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, March 13, 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 published for the first time this month. 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, January 2017 – January 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago area United States Chicago area United States Chicago area United States




$2.556 $2.409 $0.152 $0.134 $0.876 $1.000


2.420 2.360 0.152 0.135 0.885 1.003


2.456 2.386 0.154 0.134 0.867 0.989


2.653 2.479 0.151 0.135 0.861 1.000


2.538 2.448 0.150 0.137 0.875 1.036


2.452 2.400 0.161 0.142 0.890 1.040


2.487 2.344 0.160 0.143 0.878 1.031


2.556 2.436 0.161 0.142 0.862 1.027


2.688 2.688 0.161 0.142 0.847 1.018


2.650 2.545 0.136 0.137 0.830 1.020


2.848 2.608 0.158 0.136 0.823 1.028


2.690 2.521 0.158 0.136 0.854 1.042




2.793 2.596 0.162 0.135 0.808 1.048


Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 01, 2018