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Thursday, May 10, 2018


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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Cambridge-Newton – April 2018

Boston area households paid an average of $2.731 a gallon for gasoline in April 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that area gasoline prices were up 38.5 cents, compared to last April when they averaged $2.346 per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.72 per therm in the Boston area in April 2018, up 42.6 cents from a year ago when they averaged $1.294 per therm. The average cost of electricity at 22.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in April, was greater than the 20.5 cents spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

Boston area consumers paid $2.731 a gallon for gasoline which was similar to the national average of $2.795 in April 2018. One year ago, consumers in the Boston area paid $2.346, which was 13.3 cents lower than the national average of $2.479 for a gallon of gasoline. (See chart 1.)

The 22.5 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in April 2018 was 67.9 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh.  Last April, electricity costs were 51.9 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 April, by 33.6 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.720 per therm, 64.8 percent higher than the national average in April 2018 ($1.044 per therm).  In April of 2017 local prices were 29.4 percent higher than those of the nation ($1.000). In each of the last five years, the price of natural gas in Boston has exceeded that for the nation in the month of April, by 27.1 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

The Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. Core Based Statistical Area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts; Rockingham, Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.

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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Boston-Cambridge-Newton and the United States, April 2017 - April 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and
Gasoline, all types,
per gallon
per kilowatt hour
Utility (piped) gas
per therm




2.346 2.479 0.205 0.135 1.294 1.000


2.358 2.448 0.206 0.137 1.134 1.036


2.291 2.400 0.206 0.142 1.155 1.040


2.282 2.344 0.204 0.143 1.155 1.031


2.376 2.436 0.204 0.142 1.127 1.027


2.703 2.688 0.204 0.142 1.127 1.018


2.602 2.545 0.204 0.137 1.075 1.020


2.570 2.608 0.214 0.136 1.455 1.028


2.532 2.521 0.214 0.136 1.455 1.042




2.552 2.596 0.233 0.135 − 1 1.048


2.592 2.632 0.227 0.135 1.623 1.077


2.592 2.631 0.228 0.135 1.720 1.054


2.731 2.795 0.225 0.134 1.720 1.044


Last Modified Date: Thursday, May 10, 2018