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Friday, March 27, 2015


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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha – February 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $2.425 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in February 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down $1.178 compared to February 2014 when they averaged $3.603 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 17.2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2015, up from 13.8 cents per kWh in February 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 78.1 cents per therm in February was down from 96.9 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.425 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were 5.1 percent higher than the national average of $2.308 a gallon in February 2015. Average gasoline costs in Chicago had been higher by 18.1 cents or more, compared to the U.S. average in the previous two Februarys (2013-2014).  (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1.  Average prices for gasoline, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of February)

The 17.2 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in February 2015 was 24.6 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.8 cents per kWh. In February 2014, electricity costs in Chicago were comparable to the nation’s; however, in the previous three Februarys (2011-2013), Chicago area electricity costs had exceeded the national average by 19.2 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2.  Average prices for electricity, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of February)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 78.1 cents per therm in February 2015, 22.4 percent below the national average of $1.007 per therm. In the previous four Februarys (2011-2014), utility (piped) gas prices in the Chicago area were also below the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent below in February 2014 to February 2012’s 28.6 percent difference. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3.  Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2011-2015 (as of February)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area 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

The Consumer Price Index for March 2015 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 17, 2015, at 7:30 a.m. (CT).

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 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, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, February 2014 – February 2015, 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




$3.603 $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


3.671 3.463 0.164 0.141 1.009 1.058


3.366 3.241 0.167 0.136 0.885 1.033


3.063 2.945 0.149 0.134 0.906 1.035


2.637 2.618 0.167 0.135 0.953 1.060




2.140 2.170 0.172 0.138 0.862 1.036


2.425 2.308 0.172 0.138 0.781 1.007


Last Modified Date: Friday, March 27, 2015