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News Release Information

Monday, June 17, 2019

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

Average Energy Prices, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – May 2019

Gasoline prices averaged $3.545 a gallon in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area in May 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that area gasoline prices were 19.9 cents higher compared to last May when they averaged $3.346 per gallon. Seattle area households paid an average of 11.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in May 2019, similar to the 11.1 cents per kWh paid in May 2018. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $0.999 per therm in May was less than the $1.086 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.545 a gallon, Seattle area consumers paid 19.6 percent more than the $2.963 national average in May 2019. A year earlier, consumers in the Seattle area paid 12.9 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has been within 19.6 percent of the national average in the month of May during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 11.2 cents per kWh Seattle households paid for electricity in May 2019 was 17.6 percent less than the nationwide average of 13.6 cents per kWh. Last May, electricity costs were 18.4 percent lower in Seattle compared to the nation. In each of the past five years during the month of May, prices paid by Seattle area consumers for electricity were less than the U.S. average by at least 17.6 percent. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Seattle area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $0.999 per therm, 3.5 percent less than the national average in May 2019 ($1.035 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 3.4 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in May in the Seattle area has varied between 3.5 percent below and 34.7 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. metropolitan area consists of King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties of Washington.

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, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue and the United States, May 2018-May 2019, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Seattle areaUnited StatesSeattle areaUnited StatesSeattle areaUnited States






























Last Modified Date: Monday, June 17, 2019