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News Release Information

17-1277-BOS
Monday, September 18, 2017

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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Brockton-Nashua – August 2017

Boston area households paid an average of $2.376 a gallon for gasoline in August 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that area gasoline prices were up 24.1 cents, compared to last August’s when they averaged $2.135 per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.127 per therm in the Boston area in August 2017. Area natural gas prices increased 8.6 cents from one year ago when they averaged $1.041 per therm.  The average cost of electricity at 20.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in August was up 1.8 cents, compared to the 18.6 cents spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

Boston area consumers paid $2.376 a gallon for gasoline which was similar to the national average of $2.436 in August 2017. One year ago, consumers in the Boston area paid $2.135 which was similar to the national average of $2.218 for a gallon of gasoline. (See chart 1.) 

 

The 20.4 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in August 2017 was 43.7 percent more than the nationwide average of 14.2 cents per kWh.  Last August, electricity costs were 33.8 percent higher in Boston compared to the nation. In each of the last five years, the price of electricity in Boston has exceeded that for the nation in the month of August, by 14.6 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

 

Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.127 per therm, 9.7 percent higher than the national average in August 2017 ($1.027 per therm). In August of 2016 local prices were $1.041 per therm or 10.4 percent higher than those of the nation ($0.943) (See chart 3.)

 

The Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; York County in Maine; and Windham County in Connecticut.

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 www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.


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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, August 2016 - August 2017, not seasonally adjusted
Year and
month
Gasoline, all types,
per gallon
Electricity
per kilowatt hour
Utility (piped) gas
per therm
Boston
area
United
States
Boston
area
United
States
Boston
area
United
States

2016

      

August

2.1352.2180.1860.1391.0410.943

September

2.1502.2690.1870.1391.1550.954

October

2.1982.3040.1900.1341.1550.961

November

2.1862.2460.1950.1311.3440.97

December

2.2452.2890.1950.1331.3150.972

2017

      

January

2.3172.4090.2010.1341.3141.000

February

2.2722.3600.2010.1351.3521.003

March

2.2512.3860.2050.1341.3220.989

April

2.3462.4790.2050.1351.2941.000

May

2.3582.4480.2060.1371.1341.036

June

2.2912.4000.2060.1421.1551.040

July

2.2822.3440.2040.1431.1551.031

August

2.3762.4360.2040.1421.1271.027

 

Last Modified Date: Monday, September 18, 2017