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News Release Information

Thursday, February 18, 2021


Technical information:
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  • (312) 353-1138

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — January 2021

Gasoline prices averaged $2.472 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in January 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that area gasoline prices were down 21.0 cents compared to January 2020, when they averaged $2.682 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 14.0 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in January 2021, down from 14.5 cents in January 2020. In January, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 82.2 cents per therm, more than its average price of 77.2 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.472 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in January 2021 was higher than the nationwide average of $2.391. In the previous four years, in January (2017-2020), gasoline prices in the Chicago area ranged from 13.6 cents less to 19.7 cents more than the nationwide average. (See chart 1.)

The 14.0 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in January 2021 was comparable to the national average cost of 13.6 cents per kWh. In Chicago, average electricity costs were higher than the national average in the previous four years (2017-2020) in January, ranging from 8.2 percent to 20.0 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area households for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 82.2 cents per therm in January 2021, 26.5 percent less than the national average of $1.119 per therm. In each of the previous four years (2017-2020) in January, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 12.4 percent to 27.6 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

The Consumer Price Index for February 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

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, January 2020 – January 2021, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited StatesChicago areaUnited States






























Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021