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Thursday, March 20, 2014

14-478-SAN

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Average Energy Prices, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County – February 2014


Gasoline prices averaged $3.812 a gallon in the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area in February 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down 42.4 cents compared to last February when they averaged $4.236 per gallon. Los Angeles area households paid an average of 21.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in February 2014, down from 23.2 cents per kWh in February 2013. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.236 per therm in February was more than the 1.039 cents per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $3.812 a gallon, Los Angeles area consumers paid 11.4 percent more than the $3.422 national average in February 2014. A year earlier, consumers in the Los Angeles area paid 13.0 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has exceeded the national average by at least 8 percent in the month of February in each of the past five years. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)


The 21.5 cents per kWh Los Angeles households paid for electricity in February 2014 was 60.4 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh. Last February, electricity costs were 79.8 percent higher in Los Angeles compared to the nation. In the past five years, prices paid by Los Angeles area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by 52 percent or more in the month of February. (See chart 2.)

Chart 2. Average prices for electrictity, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)


Prices paid by Los Angeles area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.236 per therm, or 14.7 percent more compared to the national average in February 2014 ($1.078 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 4.2 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the Los Angeles area over the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in February has varied between 5.6 percent below and 14.7 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

Chart 3. Average prices for utility (piped) gas, Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of February)



The Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties in California.

Technical Information
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) and per 500 kWh are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm, per 40 therms, and per 100 therms 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.

Price quotes for 40 therms and 100 therms of utility (piped) gas and for 500 kWh of electricity are collected in sample outlets for use in the average price programs only. Since they are for specified consumption amounts, they are not used in the CPI. All other price quotes used for average price estimation are regular CPI data.

With the exception of the 40 therms, 100 therms, and 500 kWh price quotes, 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, United States and the Los Angeles area, February 2013–February 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and Month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Los Angeles United States Los Angeles United States Los Angeles United States
2013

February

$4.236
$3.748
$0.232
$0.129
$1.039
$0.997

March

4.226
3.792
0.232
0.128
1.005
0.994

April

4.043
3.647
0.216
0.128
1.077
1.020

May

4.060
3.682
0.216
0.131
1.200
1.036

June

4.073
3.693
0.203
0.137
1.275
1.038

July

4.115
3.687
0.203
0.137
1.239
1.025

August

3.955
3.658
0.203
0.137
1.230
1.003

September

4.008
3.616
0.203
0.137
1.183
1.000

October

3.767
3.434
0.215
0.132
1.175
0.999

November

3.651
3.310
0.215
0.130
1.113
0.999

December

3.661
3.333
0.220
0.131
1.109
0.998
2014

January

3.665
3.378
0.215
0.134
1.195
1.040

February

3.812
3.422
0.215
0.134
1.236
1.078