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19-525-CHI
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — March 2019

Gasoline prices averaged $2.761 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in March 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 1.9 cents compared to March 2018 when they averaged $2.742 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 16.1 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2019, higher than the 15.7 cents paid in March 2018. In March, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 77.2 cents per therm, lower than its average price of 81.1 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.761 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in March 2019 was 14.1 cents higher than the nationwide average of $2.620. In each of the prior four years (2015-2018) in March, Chicago area gasoline prices were higher than the national average, ranging from 7.0 cents to 12.0 cents more than the national average. (See chart 1.)

The 16.1 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in March 2019 was 19.3 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. In each of the prior four years (2015-2018) in March, Chicago electricity costs were higher than the national average, ranging from 14.9 percent to 26.5 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 77.2 cents per therm in March 2019, 26.3 percent below the national average of $1.048 per therm. In each of the previous four years (2015-2018) in March, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 12.3 percent to 23.1 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, core based statistical area consists of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, Newton, 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 www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm.

The Consumer Price Index for April 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, May 10, 2019.


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, 9 divisions, 2 population size classes, 8 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 23 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-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI and the United States, March 2018 – March 2019, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States

2018

March

$2.742$2.631$0.157$0.135$0.811$1.054

April

2.9532.7950.1550.1340.8241.044

May

3.1322.9630.1560.1360.828R1.050

June

3.0672.9700.1600.1390.821R1.042

July

2.9982.9300.1580.1390.834R1.038

August

2.9712.9190.1600.1390.8561.055

September

2.9902.9300.1570.1380.8531.030

October

2.9042.9450.1560.1360.8181.023

November

2.5412.7330.1560.1340.8281.020

December

2.3092.4790.1560.1350.8761.085

2019

January

2.2162.3520.1610.1350.8521.082

February

2.4112.4120.1610.1360.8161.051

March

2.7612.6200.1610.1350.7721.048

R: Revised.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2019