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Friday, February 15, 2019


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Average Energy Prices, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward – January 2019

Gasoline prices averaged $3.543 a gallon in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area in January 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that area gasoline prices were higher than last January when they averaged $3.302 per gallon. San Francisco area households paid an average of 20.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in January 2019, similar to the 20.5 cents per kWh paid in January 2018. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.381 per therm in January was similar to the $1.390 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.543 a gallon, San Francisco area consumers paid 50.6 percent more than the $2.352 national average in January 2019. A year earlier, consumers in the San Francisco area paid 27.2 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has ranged from 18.2 to 50.6 percent above the national average in the month of January during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 20.6 cents per kWh San Francisco households paid for electricity in January 2019 was 52.6 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last January, electricity costs were 51.9 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 39.6 percent in the month of January. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.381 per therm, or 27.6 percent above the national average in January 2019 ($1.082 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 32.6 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in January in the San Francisco area has varied between 27.6 percent and 44.7 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo 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, 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, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward and the United States, January 2018-January 2019, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
San Francisco areaUnited StatesSan Francisco areaUnited StatesSan Francisco areaUnited States




























Last Modified Date: Friday, February 15, 2019