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Monday, September 28, 2015


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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha — August 2015

Gasoline prices averaged $3.115 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in August 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 52.0 cents compared to August 2014 when they averaged $3.635 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.1 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in August 2015, comparable to the 16.2 cents per kWh paid in August 2014. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 79.3 cents per therm in August was down from $1.122 per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.115 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were 37.0 cents higher than the national average of $2.745 a gallon in August 2015. Gasoline prices in Chicago have been higher than the national average in the prior four years (2011-2014) in August, ranging from 9.5 cents in 2014 to 46.1 cents in 2012. (See chart 1.)

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

The 16.1 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in August 2015 was 13.4 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 14.2 cents per kWh. With the exception of August 2013 when Chicago area electricity costs were 8.0 percent less than the national average, prices have exceeded the national average by 6.8 percent or more in the previous four years (2011-2014) in August. (See chart 2.)

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

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 79.3 cents per therm in August 2015, 14.9 percent below the national average of 93.2 cents per therm. In August 2014, utility (piped) gas prices in Chicago exceeded the nation's by 5.8 percent; however, in the previous three years (2011-2013) in August, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average by 7.0 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

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

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 September 2015 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, October 15, 2015.

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, August 2014 – August 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




$3.635 $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


2.664 2.544 0.172 0.136 0.811 0.985


2.737 2.545 0.175 0.137 0.766 0.947


2.942 2.832 0.176 0.137 0.756 0.930


3.189 2.889 0.161 0.143 0.774 0.942


3.029 2.893 0.160 0.142 0.783 0.933


3.115 2.745 0.161 0.142 0.793 0.932


Last Modified Date: Monday, September 28, 2015