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News Release Information

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – December 2018

Gasoline prices averaged $3.143 a gallon in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area in December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that area gasoline prices were up 30.5 cents compared to last December when they averaged $2.838 per gallon. Seattle area households paid an average of 10.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in December 2018, similar to the 10.9 cents per kWh paid in December 2017. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $0.983 per therm in December was less than the $1.078 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.) 

At $3.143 a gallon, Seattle area consumers paid 26.8 percent more than the $2.479 national average in December 2018. A year earlier, consumers in the Seattle area paid 12.6 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has been within 26.8 percent of the national average in the month of December during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 10.8 cents per kWh Seattle households paid for electricity in December 2018 was 20.0 percent less than the nationwide average of 13.5 cents per kWh. Last December, electricity costs were 19.9 percent lower in Seattle compared to the nation. In each of the past five years during the month of December, prices paid by Seattle area consumers for electricity were less than the U.S. average by at least 19.9 percent. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Seattle area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $0.983 per therm, 9.4 percent  lower than the national average in December 2018 ($1.085 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 3.5 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in December in the Seattle area has varied between 9.4 percent below and 18.4 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. metropolitan area consists of King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties of Washington.

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, 9 divisions, 2 population size classes, 8 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 23 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 in 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, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue and the United States, December 2017-December 2018, not seasonally adjusted
Year and monthGasoline per gallonElectricity per kWhUtility (piped) gas per therm
Seattle areaUnited StatesSeattle areaUnited StatesSeattle areaUnited States




























Last Modified Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019