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September 24, 2014


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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha – August 2014

Gasoline prices averaged $3.635 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in August 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 23.9 cents compared to last August when they averaged $3.874 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2014, up from 12.6 cents per kWh in August 2013. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.122 per therm in August was up from 93.3 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.635 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were about 10 cents above the national average of $3.540 a gallon in August 2014. A year earlier, consumers in the Chicago area paid prices 5.9 percent or 21.6 cents more than the national average. With the exception of this August, the local price of a gallon of gasoline has exceeded the national average by more than 11 cents in the month of August in each of the five past years. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the Unitest States, 2010-2014 (as of August)

The 16.2 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in August 2014 was 13.3 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 14.3 cents per kWh. Last August, electricity costs in Chicago were 8.0 percent lower than the nation. With the exception of August 2013, Chicago area electricity costs have exceeded the national average by 6.8 percent or more over the past five Augusts. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the Unites States, 2010-2014 (as of August)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.122 per therm in August 2014, 5.8 percent above the national average of $1.060 per therm. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Chicago area had been below the national average over the previous four Augusts, ranging from 7.0 percent to 23.2 percent lower. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States 2010-2014 (as of August)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) consists of Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

Historical average energy prices for the U.S. and select metropolitan areas are available at

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 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, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, August 2013 - August 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago area United States Chicago area United States Chicago area United States


$3.874 $3.658 $0.126 $0.137 $0.933 $1.003


3.830 3.616 0.126 0.137 0.909 1.000


NA 3.434 0.125 0.132 0.883 0.999


3.436 3.310 0.125 0.130 0.877 0.999


3.396 3.333 0.125 0.131 0.871 0.998


3.545 3.378 0.138 0.134 0.909 1.040


3.603 3.422 0.138 0.134 0.969 1.078


3.919 3.590 0.138 0.135 1.269 1.154


4.044 3.717 0.139 0.131 1.394 1.137


3.920 3.745 0.139 0.136 1.214 1.111


4.051 3.750 0.161 0.143 1.158 1.088


3.769 3.690 0.160 0.143 1.186 1.093


3.635 3.540 0.162 0.143 1.122 1.060
NA - Data not adequate for publication.            


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014