Philadelphia area consumers paid more than the U.S. city average for electricity (26.2 percent) and utility (piped) gas (41.1 percent), but less than the national average for gasoline (-2.3 percent) in May 2009 according to data from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that local consumers have consistently paid more than the national average for electricity and utility gas during May over the last 10 years. On the other hand, local gasoline prices in May over the last decade were typically lower than or close to those for the United States as a whole.
Selected key characteristics of Average Energy Prices in the Philadelphia Area for May 2009
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity cost Philadelphia area consumers $0.159 in May 2009—4.6 percent higher than one year earlier, and 43.2 percent more than in 2000 when the local price was at its lowest May level over the last 10 years.
A therm—a measure of constant heating value—of utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, in the Philadelphia area averaged $1.483 in May 2009, a decrease of 2.9 percent from the previous May.
Over the last decade, the price per gallon in the U.S. and the Philadelphia area has generally trended upward; however, since last May, gasoline prices dropped 39.3 percent in the U.S. and 39.5 percent in Philadelphia. (Please see attached PDF file for a full version of the release.)
Average prices are estimated from Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for utility (piped) gas, electricity, and gasoline to support the research and analytic needs of CPI data users.