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18-529-CHI
Friday, April 20, 2018

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

Gasoline prices averaged $2.742 a gallon in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin area in March 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were up 28.6 cents compared to March 2017 when they averaged $2.456 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 15.7 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2018, similar to March 2017 costs. In March, the average cost of utility (piped) gas was 81.1 cents per therm, lower than its average price of 86.7 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

The $2.742 per gallon Chicago households paid for gasoline in March 2018 was 11.1 cents more than the nationwide average of $2.631. In the previous four years in March (2014-2017), Chicago area gasoline prices surpassed that of the nation, ranging from 7.0 cents to 32.9 cents more. (See chart 1.)

The 15.7 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in March 2018 was 16.3 percent higher than the nationwide average cost of 13.5 cents per kWh. In the previous three years (2015-2017) in March, Chicago area electricity costs exceeded the national average, ranging from 14.9 percent to 26.5 percent more. In March 2014, Chicago area electricity costs were comparable to the national average. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 81.1 cents per therm in March 2018, 23.1 percent below the national average of $1.054 per therm. In March 2014, Chicago area utility (piped) gas costs were 10.0 percent higher than the national average, while local area prices in March in the previous three years (2015-2017) were lower than the national average, ranging from 12.3 percent to 18.0 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 April 2018 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, May 10, 2018.


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 2017 – March 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

March

$2.456 $2.386 $0.154 $0.134 $0.867 $0.989

April

2.653 2.479 0.151 0.135 0.861 1.000

May

2.538 2.448 0.150 0.137 0.875 1.036

June

2.452 2.400 0.161 0.142 0.890 1.040

July

2.487 2.344 0.160 0.143 0.878 1.031

August

2.556 2.436 0.161 0.142 0.862 1.027

September

2.688 2.688 0.161 0.142 0.847 1.018

October

2.650 2.545 0.136 0.137 0.830 1.020

November

2.848 2.608 0.158 0.136 0.823 1.028

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

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, April 20, 2018