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18-397-BOS
Thursday, March 15, 2018

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Average Energy Prices In Boston-Brockton-Nashua – February 2018

Boston area households paid an average of $2.592 a gallon for gasoline in February 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that area gasoline prices were up 32 cents, compared to last February when they averaged $2.272per gallon. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.623 per therm in the Boston area in February 2018, up 27.1 cents from a year ago when they averaged $1.352 per therm. The average cost of electricity at 22.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in February was up 2.6 cents, compared to the 20.1 cents spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

Boston area consumers paid $2.592 a gallon for gasoline which was similar to the national average of $2.632 in February 2018. One year ago, consumers in the Boston area paid $2.272 which was also similar to the national average of $2.36 for a gallon of gasoline. (See chart 1.)

The 22.7 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in February 2018 was 68.1 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last February, electricity costs were 48.9 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 February, by 29.1 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.623 per therm, 50.7 percent higher than the national average in February 2018 ($1.077 per therm). In February of 2017 local prices were 34.8 percent higher than those of the nation ($1.003). In each of the last five years, the price of natural gas in Boston has exceeded that for the nation in the month of February, by 25.9 percent or more. (See chart 3.)

The Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H. Core Based Statistical Area covered in this release is comprised of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk Counties in Massachusetts; Rockingham, Strafford Counties in New Hampshire.

Consumer Price Index Geographic Revision for 2018

In January 2018, BLS introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). As part of the new sample, the index for this area was renamed. The indexes using the new structure are published for the first time this month. Additional information on the geographic revision is available at www.bls.gov/cpi/georevision2018.htm.


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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Boston-Cambridge-Newton and the United States, February 2017 - February 2018, 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

2017

           

February

2.272 2.360 0.201 0.135 1.352 1.003

March

2.251 2.386 0.205 0.134 1.322 0.989

April

2.346 2.479 0.205 0.135 1.294 1.000

May

2.358 2.448 0.206 0.137 1.134 1.036

June

2.291 2.400 0.206 0.142 1.155 1.040

July

2.282 2.344 0.204 0.143 1.155 1.031

August

2.376 2.436 0.204 0.142 1.127 1.027

September

2.703 2.688 0.204 0.142 1.127 1.018

October

2.602 2.545 0.204 0.137 1.075 1.020

November

2.570 2.608 0.214 0.136 1.455 1.028

December

2.532 2.521 0.214 0.136 1.455 1.042

2018

           

January

2.552 2.596 0.233 0.135 (1) 1.048

February

2.592 2.632 0.227 0.135 1.623 1.077

Footnotes:
(1) Data inadequate for publication

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018