News Release Information

19-41-CHI
Friday, January 18, 2019

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Naperville-Elgin — December 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $2.309 per gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 38.1 cents compared to December 2017 when they averaged $2.690 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2018, comparable to the 15.8 cents paid in December 2017. In December, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 87.6 cents per therm, higher than its average price of 85.4 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.309 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in December 2018 was 17.0 cents less than the nationwide average of $2.479. In December 2014 and 2015, Chicago area gasoline prices were similar to the national average, whereas local area prices in December 2016 and 2017 were 14.4 cents and 16.9 cents higher than the national average, respectively. (See chart 1.)

The 15.6 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in December 2018 was 15.6 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. In each of the prior four years (2014-2017) in December, Chicago electricity costs were higher than the national average, ranging from 11.3 percent to 23.7 percent more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 87.6 cents per therm in December 2018, 19.3 percent below the national average of $1.085 per therm. In each of the previous four years (2014-2017) in December, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were lower than the national average, ranging from 10.1 percent to 21.3 percent less. (See chart 3.)

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., 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 January 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 13, 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, December 2017 – December 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Chicago area United States Chicago area United States Chicago area United States

2017

December

$2.690 $2.521 $0.158 $0.136 $0.854 $1.042

2018

January

2.793 2.596 0.162 0.135 0.808 1.048

February

2.697 2.632 0.162 0.135 0.806 1.077

March

2.742 2.631 0.157 0.135 0.811 1.054

April

2.953 2.795 0.155 0.134 0.824 1.044

May

3.132 2.963 0.156 0.136 0.828R 1.050

June

3.067 2.970 0.160 0.139 0.821R 1.042

July

2.998 2.930 0.158 0.139 0.834R 1.038

August

2.971 2.919 0.160 0.139 0.856 1.055

September

2.990 2.930 0.157 0.138 0.853 1.030

October

2.904 2.945 0.156 0.136 0.818 1.023

November

2.541 2.733 0.156 0.134 0.828 1.020

December

2.309 2.479 0.156 0.135 0.876 1.085

R: Revised.

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, January 18, 2019