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Thursday, April 17, 2014


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Average Energy Prices, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City – March 2013

Gasoline prices averaged $3.552 a gallon in the Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City area in March 2014, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that area gasoline prices declined slightly from last March when they averaged $3.628 per gallon. Philadelphia area households paid an average of 15.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2014, identical to the price in March 2013. Meanwhile, the average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.219 per therm in March was nearly unchanged from $1.224 a year ago. (All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.552 a gallon, Philadelphia area consumers paid close to the national average of $3.590 for gasoline in March 2014. A year earlier, the price for a gallon of gasoline in the Philadelphia area was was less than the national average. Local prices for a gallon of gasoline in March have differed by less than 5 percent from the national average in each of the last five years. (See chart 1 and table 1.)

Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City and United States, March 2010-March 2014

The 15.7 cents per kWh that Philadelphia households paid for electricity in March 2014 was 16.3 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last March, electricity costs were 22.7 percent higher in Philadelphia compared to the nation. From 2010 to 2012, prices paid by Philadelphia area consumers for electricity in March exceeded the U.S. average by 27 percent or more. (See chart 2.)

Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City and United States, March 2010-March 2014

The price paid by Philadelphia area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, in March 2014 was $1.219 per therm, or 5.6 percent more than the national average of $1.154. A year earlier, local area consumers paid 23.1 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to consumers nationwide. From 2010 to 2013, the per-therm cost for natural gas in Philadelphia was at least 21 percent more than the U.S. average in the month of March. (See chart 3.)

Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City and United States, March 2010-March 2014

The Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.

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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.

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, the 3 population size classes, 10 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 14 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.

Table 1. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, electricity, and gasoline, United States and the Philadelphia area, March 2013-March 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Philadelphia United States Philadelphia United States Philadelphia United States


$3.628 $3.792 $0.157 $0.128 $1.224 $0.994


3.474 3.647 0.163 0.128 1.214 1.020


3.515 3.682 0.163 0.131 1.216 1.036


3.536 3.693 0.159 0.137 1.215 1.038


3.629 3.687 0.159 0.137 1.219 1.025


3.617 3.658 0.159 0.137 1.216 1.003


3.554 3.616 0.164 0.137 1.186 1.000


3.328 3.434 0.161 0.132 1.176 0.999


3.288 3.310 0.162 0.130 1.147 0.999


3.419 3.333 0.164 0.131 1.127 0.998


3.444 3.378 0.162 0.134 1.163 1.040


3.469 3.422 0.162 0.134 1.129 1.078


3.552 3.590 0.157 0.135 1.219 1.154

Last Modified Date: April 17, 2014

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