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Thursday, March 27, 2014


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Average Energy Prices, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha – February 2014

Gasoline prices averaged $3.603 a gallon in the Chicago-Gary-Kenosha area in February 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that area gasoline prices were down 33.1 cents compared to last February when they averaged $3.934 per gallon. Chicago area households paid an average of 13.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2014, down from 15.8 cents per kWh in February 2013. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at 96.9 cents per therm in February was up from 78.9 cents per therm a year earlier. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.603 a gallon, costs for gasoline in the Chicago area were 18.1 cents, or 5.3 percent above the national average of $3.422 a gallon in February 2014. A year earlier, consumers in the Chicago area paid prices 5.0 percent above the national average. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has exceeded the national average by 4.8 percent or more in the month of February in three of the past five years. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)

The 13.8 cents per kWh that Chicago households paid for electricity in February 2014 was comparable to the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh. Last February, electricity costs were 22.5 percent higher in Chicago compared to the nation. With the exception of this February, Chicago area electricity prices have exceeded the national average by 13.0 percent or more over the past five Februarys. (See chart 2.)

Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)

Prices paid by Chicago area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were 96.9 cents per therm or 10.1 percent below the national average of $1.078 per therm in February 2014. A year earlier, area consumers paid 20.9 percent less per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. Utility (piped) gas prices in the Chicago area have been lower than the national average in each of the past five Februarys, ranging from this February’s 10.1 percent differential to 28.6 percent below in February 2012. (See chart 3.)

Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Chicago-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)

The Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, Ill.-Ind.-Wis. Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) consists of Cook, De Kalb, Du Page, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Lake 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/ro5/ro5econ1.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, 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.

Information from 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-Gary-Kenosha and the United States, February 2013 - February 2014, 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


$3.934 $3.748 $0.158 $0.129 $0.789 $0.997


3.976 3.792 0.148 0.128 0.788 0.994


3.982 3.647 0.131 0.128 0.852 1.020


4.251 3.682 0.131 0.131 0.897 1.036


4.312 3.693 0.124 0.137 0.917 1.038


4.001 3.687 0.125 0.137 0.944 1.025


3.874 3.658 0.126 0.137 0.933 1.003


3.830 3.616 0.126 0.137 0.909 1.000


NA 3.434 0.125 0.132 0.883 0.999


3.436 3.310 0.125 0.130 0.877 0.999


3.396 3.333 0.125 0.131 0.871 0.998


3.545 3.378 0.138 0.134 0.909 1.040


3.603 3.422 0.138 0.134 0.969 1.078
NA - Data not adequate for publication.

Last Modified Date: March 27, 2014