September's Electric and Gas Rates

September’s Consumer Price Index reports that overall CPI, for all goods and services, was up 3.7 percent as compared with a year earlier – September 2022. This follows the recent trend of persistently moderate inflation not as low as economists prefer.

The bellwether CPI for all items less food and energy was up 4.1 percent as compared with a year earlier. This stat has two components. Prices for commodities less food and energy commodities remained steady year-over-year, with a 0.0 percent change. While prices for services less energy services were up 5.7 percent. Including prices for shelter, which were up 7.2 percent, and transportation services, which were up 9.1 percent.

Food and energy prices are no longer driving inflation. Food prices were up 3.7 percent, the same rate as the overall CPI. And energy prices were actually down 0.5 percent, pulling downward the overall CPI.

Prices for energy services were the heroes for this CPI report. They were down 3.3 percent. Why? Well, the average price for utility natural gas service was down 19.9 percent as compared with a year earlier. And the average price for utility electric service was up 2.6 percent, well less than the overall CPI.

A key reason is that the prices that powerplants pay for the natural gas that many of them combust to generate power was down 22.7 percent in September as compared with a year earlier. This according to September’s Producer Price Index reported last week as well.