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News Release Information

15-1854-SAN
Friday, September 18, 2015

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, August 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $3.389 a gallon in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area in August 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down 56.4 cents compared to last August when they averaged $3.953 per gallon. San Francisco area households paid an average of 23.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2015, same as the price paid per kWh in August 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.577 per therm in August was 13.6 cents more than $1.441 price per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.389 a gallon, San Francisco area consumers paid 23.5 percent more than the $2.745 national average in August 2015. A year earlier, consumers in the San Francisco area paid 11.7 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has ranged from 3.2 to 23.5 percent above the national average in the month of August during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 23.3 cents per kWh San Francisco households paid for electricity in August 2015 was 64.1 percent more than the nationwide average of 14.2 cents per kWh. Last August, electricity costs were 55.9 percent higher in San Francisco compared to the nation. In each of the past five years, prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by at least 55.9 percent in the month of August. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.577 per therm, or 69.2 percent above the national average in August 2015 ($0.932 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 35.9 percent more price per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in August in the San Francisco area has varied between 28.7 percent and 69.2 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma Counties in California.


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) and per 500 kWh are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm, per 40 therms, and per 100 therms 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.

Price quotes for 40 therms and 100 therms of utility (piped) gas and for 500 kWh of electricity are collected in sample outlets for use in the average price programs only. Since they are for specified consumption amounts, they are not used in the CPI. All other price quotes used for average price estimation are regular CPI data.

With the exception of the 40 therms, 100 therms, and 500 kWh price quotes, 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 from 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, electricty, and utility (piped) gas, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, August 2014-August 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtillity (piped) gas per therm
San Francisco areaUnited StatesSan Francisco areaUnited StatesSan Francisco areaUnited States
2014      

August

$3.953$3.540$0.223$0.143$1.441$1.060

September

3.8153.4630.2230.1411.6251.058

October

3.5653.2410.2220.1361.5401.033

November

3.2172.9450.2130.1341.3241.035

December

2.8742.6180.2130.1351.3981.060
2015      

January

2.5772.1700.2220.1381.4901.036

February

2.7822.3080.2220.1381.4641.007

March

3.3342.5440.2240.1361.3780.985

April

3.2002.5450.2250.1371.5340.947

May

3.6922.8320.2330.1371.4850.930

June

3.4652.8890.2330.1431.5740.942

July

3.5232.8930.2330.1421.4970.933

August

3.3892.7450.2330.1421.5770.932

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, September 18, 2015