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Tuesday, May 17, 2016


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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Brockton-Nashua – April 2016

Boston area households paid an average of $2.138 a gallon for gasoline in April 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was more than $0.27 below the April 2015 price of $2.411 per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.117 per therm in the Boston area in April 2016. Area natural gas prices were down from one year ago when they averaged $1.217 per therm.  The average cost of electricity at 20.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in April was also down from 22.5 cents per kWh spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.138 the price of a gallon of gasoline in the Boston area was similar to the national average of $2.196 in April 2016. One year ago, the local price of gasoline at $2.411 per gallon was below the national average of $2.545. (See chart 1.) 


The 20.5 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in April 2016 was 53.0 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh. Last April, electricity costs were 64.2 percent higher in Boston compared to the nation. In each of the last five years, the price of electricity in Boston has exceeded that for the nation in the month of April, by 18.8 percent or more. (See chart 2.)


Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.117 per therm, 27.1 percent higher than the national average in April 2016 ($0.879 per therm).  In April of 2015 local prices were $1.217 per therm or 28.5 percent higher than those of the nation ($0.947). In each of the last 5 years, the price premium of natural gas for Boston households relative to the nation has ranged between 25.8 and 34.7 percent of the national price. (See chart 3.)

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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, April 2015 - April 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and
Gasoline, all types,
per gallon
per kilowatt hour
Utility (piped) gas
per therm




2.411 2.545 0.225 0.137 1.217 0.947


2.685 2.832 0.197 0.137 0.850 0.930


2.757 2.889 0.199 0.143 0.850 0.942


2.753 2.893 0.179 0.142 0.844 0.933


2.592 2.745 0.179 0.142 0.790 0.932


2.364 2.463 0.179 0.141 0.780 0.921


2.180 2.357 0.177 0.136 0.762 0.909


2.172 2.249 0.194 0.134 1.202 0.903


2.077 2.125 0.194 0.133 1.166 0.892




1.951 2.034 0.203 0.134 1.168 0.898


1.788 1.833 0.203 0.134 1.167 0.895


1.907 2.021 0.205 0.134 1.117 0.884


2.138 2.196 0.205 0.134 1.117 0.879


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016