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News Release Information

Monday, October 27, 2014

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, September 2014

Gasoline prices averaged $3.815 a gallon in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area in September 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down 17.2 cents compared to last September when they averaged $3.987 per gallon. San Francisco area households paid an average of 22.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in September 2014, down from 22.8 cents per kWh in September 2013. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.625 per therm in September was more than the $1.260 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.815 a gallon, San Francisco area consumers paid 10.2 percent more than the $3.463 national average in September 2014. A year earlier, consumers in the San Francisco area paid 10.3 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 7.5 percent in the month of September in each of the past five years. (See chart 1.)

 Chart 1. Average prices for gasoline, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of September)

The 22.3 cents per kWh San Francisco households paid for electricity in September 2014 was 58.2 percent more than the nationwide average of 14.1 cents per kWh. Last September, electricity costs were 66.4 percent higher in San Francisco compared to the nation. In each of the past five years, prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for electricity exceeded the U.S. average by at least 58.2 percent in the month of September. (See chart 2.)

 Chart 2. Average prices for electricity, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of September)

Prices paid by San Francisco area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.625 per therm, or 53.6 percent above the national average in September 2014 ($1.058 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 26.0 percent more price per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in September in the San Francisco area has varied between 26.0 percent and 53.6 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

 Chart 3. Average prices for utillity (piped) gas, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, 2010-2014 (as of September)

The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif. metropolitan area consists of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma Counties in California.

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) 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, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose and the United States, September 2013-September 2014, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utillity (piped) gas per therm
San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States San Francisco area United States


$3.987 $3.616 $0.228 $0.137 $1.260 $1.000


3.774 3.434 0.231 0.132 1.264 0.999


3.625 3.310 0.219 0.130 1.194 0.999


3.597 3.333 0.219 0.131 1.152 0.998


3.636 3.378 0.221 0.134 1.255 1.040


3.716 3.422 0.221 0.134 1.332 1.078


3.951 3.590 0.222 0.135 1.386 1.154


4.162 3.717 0.182 0.131 1.424 1.137


4.193 3.745 0.232 0.136 1.465 1.111


4.155 3.750 0.233 0.143 1.427 1.088


4.101 3.690 0.233 0.143 1.479 1.093


3.953 3.540 0.223 0.143 1.441 1.060


3.815 3.463 0.223 0.141 1.625 1.058


Last Modified Date: Monday, October 27, 2014