Fact #817: February 17, 2014 Conventional and Alternative Fuel Price Trends from 2000 to 2013

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Retail prices for most transportation fuels have been highly volatile over the past 13 years. The figure below shows quarterly price fluctuations for select fuel types from 2000 to 2013. Gasoline, diesel, propane, E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline), and B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel) all experienced significant fluctuations in price during the entire 13-year period. Compressed natural gas (CNG) and electricity were the notable exceptions. Though CNG experienced large price fluctuations between 2005 and 2009 it was generally more stable than the other fuel types. Residential electricity prices were by far the most stable. The overall price for residential electricity increased by 51% during the 13-year period while the price for gasoline and diesel rose by 127% and 172% respectively.

The prices are displayed in gasoline-gallon equivalents (GGE) which equate the energy content of any motor fuel to that of a gallon of gasoline. The prices are collected in gallons (except for CNG) and are translated to GGE's using conversion factors.

Quarterly Retail Fuel Price Trends, 2000 to 2013

Graph showing quarterly retail fuel price trends (from 2000 to 2013) for the following fuels: propane, B20, diesel, electricity, E85, gasoline, and CNG. See table below for more detailed information.

*According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, electricity prices are reduced by a factor of 3.4 because electric motors are approximately 3.4 times as efficient as internal combustion engines. Efficiency adjustments were not made for other fuels because they are much smaller and inconsistent.

Supporting Information

Quarterly Retail Fuel Price Trends, 2000 to 2013 (All prices in gasoline-gallon equivalents, or GGE)
Survey
Start Date
Gasoline E85 CNG Propane Diesel B20 Electricity*
4/10/2000 $1.52 $1.80 $0.89 $1.62 $1.29 Not available $0.81
10/9/2000 $1.54 $1.90 $1.02 $1.76 $1.46 Not available $0.84
6/4/2001 $1.68 $1.85 $1.30 $1.72 $1.37 Not available $0.90
10/22/2001 $1.27 $1.60 $1.19 $1.62 $1.19 $1.35 $0.88
2/11/2002 $1.11 $1.54 $1.09 $1.62 $1.04 $1.18 $0.81
4/15/2002 $1.40 $1.80 $1.07 $1.95 $1.19 $1.28 $0.83
7/22/2002 $1.41 $1.81 $1.20 $1.55 $1.18 $1.39 $0.87
10/28/2002 $1.44 $1.71 $1.17 $1.66 $1.35 $1.47 $0.84
2/10/2003 $1.61 $1.86 $1.20 $2.09 $1.50 $1.57 $0.79
12/8/2003 $1.48 $1.70 $1.35 $2.21 $1.34 $1.60 $0.82
3/8/2004 $1.74 $1.84 $1.40 $2.48 $1.47 $1.61 $0.85
6/14/2004 $1.99 $2.28 $1.40 $2.13 $1.55 $1.89 $0.92
11/15/2004 $1.97 $2.30 $1.56 $2.91 $1.93 $2.05 $0.89
3/21/2005 $2.11 $2.29 $1.56 $2.65 $2.03 $2.11 $0.88
9/1/2005 $2.77 $3.21 $2.12 $3.50 $2.54 $2.67 $0.98
1/1/2006 $2.23 $2.65 $1.99 $2.71 $2.32 $2.42 $0.95
5/24/2006 $2.84 $3.24 $1.90 $2.85 $2.69 $2.68 $1.05
9/4/2006 $2.22 $2.81 $1.77 $3.18 $2.37 $2.43 $1.08
2/21/2007 $2.30 $2.79 $1.94 $3.58 $2.37 $2.32 $0.98
7/3/2007 $3.03 $3.50 $2.10 $3.53 $2.67 $2.71 $1.10
10/2/2007 $2.76 $3.20 $1.77 $3.75 $2.81 $2.82 $1.07
1/1/2008 $2.99 $3.55 $1.93 $4.31 $3.05 $3.08 $1.01
4/1/2008 $3.43 $4.06 $2.04 $4.36 $3.71 $3.63 $1.08
7/1/2008 $3.91 $4.62 $2.34 $4.34 $4.22 $4.25 $1.19
10/1/2008 $3.04 $3.99 $2.01 $4.67 $3.27 $3.69 $1.17
1/30/2009 $1.86 $2.56 $1.63 $3.77 $2.19 $2.43 $1.11
4/15/2009 $2.02 $2.66 $1.64 $3.56 $2.04 $2.27 $1.14
7/31/2009 $2.44 $3.01 $1.73 $3.43 $2.27 $2.45 $1.19
10/26/2009 $2.64 $3.21 $1.86 $3.72 $2.50 $2.63 $1.12
1/29/2010 $2.65 $3.36 $1.85 $4.13 $2.57 $2.70 $1.08
4/12/2010 $2.84 $3.42 $1.90 $3.99 $2.71 $2.85 $1.16
7/23/2010 $2.71 $3.25 $1.91 $4.01 $2.65 $2.79 $1.19
10/14/2010 $2.78 $3.45 $1.93 $3.93 $2.75 $2.86 $1.18
2/7/2011 $3.08 $3.89 $1.93 $4.22 $3.09 $3.19 $1.10
5/15/2011 $3.69 $4.52 $2.06 $4.41 $3.62 $3.69 $1.18
7/14/2011 $3.68 $4.60 $2.07 $4.26 $3.54 $3.67 $1.20
10/14/2011 $3.46 $4.51 $2.09 $4.23 $3.42 $3.57 $1.20
1/27/2012 $3.37 $4.43 $2.13 $4.25 $3.47 $3.59 $1.14
3/30/2012 $3.89 $4.89 $2.08 $4.02 $3.71 $3.80 $1.18
7/13/2012 $3.52 $4.58 $2.05 $3.64 $3.36 $3.50 $1.19
10/12/2012 $3.82 $4.91 $2.12 $3.54 $3.70 $3.82 $1.19
1/15/2013 $3.29 $4.48 $2.10 $3.70 $3.55 $3.70 $1.14
4/12/2013 $3.59 $4.66 $2.10 $3.77 $3.58 $3.75 $1.18
7/13/2013 $3.65 $4.57 $2.14 $3.77 $3.50 $3.55 $1.25
10/4/2013 $3.45 $4.30 $2.09 $4.09 $3.51 $3.67 $1.22
* According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, electricity prices are reduced by a factor of 3.4 because electric motors are approximately 3.4 times as efficient as internal combustion engines. Efficiency adjustments were not made for other fuels because they are much smaller and inconsistent.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center.

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