News Release Information

Friday, September 16, 2016


Technical information:
Media contact:

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

Boston area households paid an average of $2.135 a gallon for gasoline in August 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was more than $0.45 below the August 2015 price of $2.592 per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.041 per therm in the Boston area in August 2016. Area natural gas prices were up from one year ago when they averaged $0.790 per therm.  The average cost of electricity at 18.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in August was up from 17.9 cents per kWh spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.135, the price of a gallon of gasoline in the Boston area compared to the national average of $2.218 in August 2016. One year ago, consumers in the Boston area paid 5.6 percent less than the national average for a gallon of gasoline.   (See chart 1.) 


The 18.6 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in August 2016 was 33.8 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.9 cents per kWh.  Last August, electricity costs were 26.1 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 August, by 9 percent or more. (See chart 2.)


Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.041 per therm, 10.4 percent higher than the national average in August 2016 ($0.943 per therm).  In August of 2015 local prices were $0.79 per therm or 15.2 percent lower than those of the nation ($0.932). (See chart 3.)


The Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; York County in Maine; and Windham County in Connecticut.

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, August 2015 - August 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and
Gasoline, all types,
per gallon
per kilowatt hour
Utility (piped) gas
per therm




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


2.261 2.324 0.197 0.133 0.925 0.877


2.300 2.422 0.188 0.138 1.006 0.891


2.195 2.287 0.186 0.139 1.041 0.931


2.135 2.218 0.186 0.139 1.041 0.943


Last Modified Date: Friday, September 16, 2016