News Release Information

January 16, 2015


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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Brockton-Nashua – December 2014

Boston area households paid an average of $2.785 a gallon for gasoline in December 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was 68 cents below the December 2013 price of $3.469 per gallon. In contrast to gasoline prices, the average cost of electricity at 20.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in December was up from 16.7 cents per kWh spent last year. Also up over the year were utility (piped) gas prices which averaged $1.432 per therm in the Boston area in December 2014. Area natural gas prices averaged $1.319 per therm last December. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.785 the price of a gallon of gasoline in the Boston area was 6.4 percent above the the national average of $2.618 in December 2014. One year ago, the local price of gasoline at $3.469 per gallon was 4.1 percent above the national average of $3.333. From 2010 to 2012 in December area residents paid close to the national average for a gallon of gasoline. (See chart 1.) 

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of December)


The 20.3 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in December 2014 was 50.4 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last December, electricity costs were 27.5 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 December, by 15 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of December)


Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.432 per therm, 35.1 percent above the national average in December 2014 ($1.060 per therm). In December of 2013 local prices were 32.2 percent greater than those of the nation. Households in the Boston area have paid 27.7 percent or more than the national average for natural gas in the month of December in each of the last five years. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Boston-Brockton-Nashua and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of December)


The Boston-Brockton-Nashua, Mass.-N.H.-Maine-Conn. consolidated area consists of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk Counties and parts of Bristol, Hampden, and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts; parts of Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford Counties in New Hampshire; part of York County in Maine; and part of 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, December 2013 - December 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline, all types, per gallon Electricity per kilowatt hour Utility (piped) gas per therm
Boston area United States Boston area United States Boston area United States


3.469 3.333 0.167 0.131 1.319 0.998


3.465 3.378 0.173 0.134 1.319 1.040


3.445 3.422 0.173 0.134 1.357 1.078


3.567 3.590 0.173 0.135 1.532 1.154


3.597 3.717 0.175 0.131 1.532 1.137


3.701 3.745 0.167 0.136 1.108 1.111


3.699 3.750 0.169 0.143 1.108 1.088


3.699 3.690 0.169 0.143 1.107 1.093


3.547 3.540 0.169 0.143 1.084 1.060
September 3.476 3.463 0.169 0.141 1.024 1.058
October 3.285 3.241 0.167 0.136 0.994 1.033


3.011 2.945 0.203 0.134 1.432 1.035


2.785 2.618 0.203 0.135 1.432 1.060


Last Modified Date: Friday, January 16, 2015