Boston area households paid an average of $3.469 a gallon for gasoline in December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that this was almost the same as the $3.481 a gallon in December 2012. Utility (piped) gas prices averaged $1.319 per therm in the Boston-Brockton-Nashua area in December 2013. Area natural gas prices were greater than last December when they averaged $1.282 per therm. The average cost of electricity at 16.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in December was up from 14.6 cents per kWh spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)
At $3.469 a gallon, the price of gasoline in the Boston area was nearly 14 cents above the national average of $3.333 in December 2013. A year earlier, prices were similar in the Boston area compared with the United States. While the local price of a gallon of gasoline was over 4 percent above the national average in December 2013, the local price had been close to the national average in the month of December in each of the previous four years.
The 16.7 cents per kWh Boston households paid for electricity in December 2013 was 27.5 percent more than the nationwide average of 13.1 cents per kWh. In each of the last five years, the price of electricity in Boston has always exceeded that for the nation in the month of December, by 15 percent or more.
Prices paid by Boston area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.319 per therm, over 32 percent more than the national average in December 2013 ($0.998 per therm). Over the last five years, the per therm cost for natural gas for U.S. consumers has decreased during the month December while local prices have fluctuated. Since December of 2009 local consumers have paid 24 percent or more than the national average.