The commercial sector consists of nonmanufacturing business establishments. Included are hotels, motels, restaurants, wholesale businesses, retail stores, laundries, and other service enterprises; health, social, and educational institutions; and federal, state, and local governments. Streetlights, pumps, bridges, and public services are also included. Fuel used in motor vehicles for commercial purposes is included in the transportation sector. Examples of common uses of energy in the commercial sector include space heating, water heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, and cooking.
Using an equivalent measure of million British thermal units (Btu), the graph below compares the prices of fuel. The prices are also in nominal dollars to provide a better comparison. In 2015, the highest price was for kerosene at $16.89 per million Btu followed by motor gasoline at $19.80, electricity at $25.42, propane at $20.14, and diesel fuel at $13.45. Natural gas was $6.06, and wood and waste was $4.55. Since the commercial sector's residual fuel consumption was zero or small enough to round to zero for the years 1996, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013, and 2015, residual fuel's price is shown as $0 for those years. Likewise, since the commercial sector's coal consumption was small enough to round to zero for the years 1999, 2000, 2008, and 2009–2015, coal's price is shown as $0.
The price for ethanol is not tracked, and there are no direct fuel costs for hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, or solar thermal energy, so no prices are reported.