Fact #960: January 16, 2017 Electricity and CNG Fuels had the Lowest Price Variability Over the Past 16 Years

You are here

SUBSCRIBE to the Fact of the Week

Retail prices for most transportation fuels have been highly volatile over the past 16 years. 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 electricity) and are converted to GGE. In this figure, the prices were also adjusted for inflation to 2016 dollars.

Since 2000, gasoline, diesel, propane, ethanol (E85), and biodiesel (B20) have all experienced significant fluctuations. Electricity prices show cyclical price variations from the summer months to the winter months. Over the 16-year period, electricity ranged from a low of $3.47 per GGE to a high of $4.51 per GGE, a $1.04 difference. In contrast, gasoline prices ranged from a low of $1.46 per GGE to a high of $4.36 per GGE, a $2.90 difference. Although CNG experienced larger price fluctuations between 2005 and 2009, the price was generally more stable from 2009-on.

Average U.S. Retail Fuel Prices per Gasoline Gallon Equivalent, Selected Dates from 2000 to 2016

Graphic showing average U.S. retail fuel prices per gasoline gallon equivalent for selected dates from 2000 to 2016.

Notes:
CNG = compressed natural gas.
E85 = 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.
B20 = 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel.
Prices were adjusted for inflation using the quarterly Gross Domestic Product Implicit Price Deflator.

Fact #960 Dataset

Supporting Information

Average U.S. Retail Fuel Prices per Gasoline Gallon Equivalent
(Constant 2016 Dollars)
Survey Start DateGasolineE85CNGDieselB20Electricity
4/10/2000$2.06$2.45$1.21$1.76Not available$3.72
10/9/2000$2.07$2.56$1.37$1.96Not available$3.83
6/4/2001$2.23$2.46$1.73$1.82Not available$4.04
10/22/2001$1.67$2.11$1.57$1.57$1.78$3.91
2/11/2002$1.46$2.03$1.43$1.37$1.56$3.61
4/15/2002$1.84$2.36$1.40$1.56$1.68$3.67
7/22/2002$1.84$2.36$1.57$1.55$1.82$3.85
10/28/2002$1.87$2.22$1.52$1.75$1.90$3.69
2/3/2003$2.07$2.40$1.55$1.94$2.02$3.47
12/1/2003$1.88$2.16$1.72$1.70$2.04$3.54
3/3/2004$2.19$2.32$1.77$1.86$2.04$3.65
6/14/2004$2.48$2.85$1.75$1.93$2.36$3.89
11/15/2004$2.43$2.84$1.93$2.38$2.53$3.70
3/21/2005$2.58$2.80$1.91$2.48$2.58$3.63
9/1/2005$3.33$3.86$2.56$3.05$3.21$4.01
1/1/2006$2.64$3.13$2.36$2.74$2.87$3.79
5/24/2006$3.33$3.81$2.24$3.16$3.14$4.17
9/4/2006$2.59$3.28$2.06$2.76$2.84$4.27
2/21/2007$2.65$3.21$2.23$2.73$2.67$3.81
7/3/2007$3.45$4.00$2.39$3.05$3.09$4.23
10/2/2007$3.14$3.63$2.01$3.19$3.21$4.11
1/21/2008$3.37$4.01$2.18$3.44$3.48$3.84
4/1/2008$3.85$4.56$2.29$4.17$4.08$4.11
7/21/2008$4.36$5.15$2.61$4.71$4.74$4.51
10/2/2008$3.39$4.44$2.24$3.64$4.11$4.41
1/12/2009$2.07$2.84$1.81$2.43$2.70$4.09
4/1/2009$2.25$2.96$1.83$2.27$2.53$4.28
7/20/2009$2.72$3.35$1.93$2.53$2.73$4.42
10/16/2009$2.93$3.56$2.06$2.77$2.92$4.33
1/19/2010$2.93$3.72$2.05$2.84$2.99$3.88
4/2/2010$3.13$3.77$2.09$2.98$3.14$4.32
7/12/2010$2.97$3.56$2.09$2.90$3.06$4.42
10/4/2010$3.03$3.76$2.10$3.00$3.12$4.33
1/24/2011$3.34$4.22$2.10$3.35$3.46$3.95
4/1/2011$3.98$4.87$2.22$3.90$3.98$4.21
7/14/2011$3.94$4.93$2.22$3.79$3.93$4.34
9/30/2011$3.71$4.83$2.24$3.66$3.82$4.37
1/13/2012$3.59$4.71$2.27$3.69$3.82$4.07
3/30/2012$4.14$5.20$2.21$3.95$4.04$4.17
7/13/2012$3.71$4.83$2.16$3.54$3.69$4.24
9/28/2012$4.03$5.17$2.23$3.90$4.03$4.34
1/10/2013$3.44$4.68$2.20$3.71$3.87$4.01
3/29/2013$3.75$4.87$2.20$3.74$3.92$4.07
7/12/2013$3.79$4.74$2.22$3.63$3.69$4.40
10/4/2013$3.56$4.44$2.16$3.63$3.79$4.28
1/1/2014$3.43$4.41$2.15$3.59$3.72$4.01
4/1/2014$3.73$4.93$2.20$3.64$3.74$4.21
7/1/2014$3.77$4.64$2.21$3.57$3.70$4.47
10/1/2014$3.40$4.14$2.20$3.44$3.54$4.29
1/1/2015$2.34$3.17$2.15$2.80$2.95$4.12
4/1/2015$2.45$2.80$2.11$2.59$2.65$4.28
7/1/2015$2.84$3.10$2.14$2.95$3.00$4.39
10/1/2015$2.36$2.86$2.38$2.31$2.40$4.29
1/1/2016$1.99$2.43$2.10$2.00$2.18$4.04
4/1/2016$2.06$2.39$2.02$1.90$2.01$4.16
7/1/2016$2.26$2.59$2.05$2.19$2.28$4.25
10/1/2016$2.22$2.51$2.06$2.21$2.21$4.31

Notes:

  • The October 2016 electricity price data are not available. Thus, September data were used.
  • The number of stations surveyed, and therefore the quality of the data, increase throughout time. The most notable increase was for the 9/1/05 report.
  • CNG, E85, and B20 prices were median prices before 9/1/05 and mean prices after this date.
  • Starting in the 9/1/05 issue, prices were averaged over longer periods (generally one month rather than one week).
  • B20 prices are not available for the first three survey dates.
  • The electricity prices will not match the Alternative Fuel Data Center (AFDC) due to the AFDC use of an electric motor efficiency factor of 3.4. That factor was not used in these data, which come directly from the Energy Information Administration. Also, these data are adjusted for inflation.

 

Sources:
Electricity: Energy Information Administration, December 2016 Monthly Energy Review, Average Monthly Retail Price of Residential Electricity from Table 9.8. Data were converted to E10 gasoline gallon equivalent using a factor of 33.5 Btu.
All other fuels: Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Reports. Data were converted to E10 gasoline gallon equivalent using factors documented in the report.
Adjustment for inflation: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, National Income and Product Accounts, Table 1.1.9. Implicit Price Deflators for Gross Domestic Product, quarterly data

Return to 2017 Facts of the Week