Philadelphia regional consumers continued to pay about 25 percent more for electricity and natural gas in November than the average paid in other metropolitan areas, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

Local energy users have consistently paid more for electricity and utility gas than the national average over the last 10 years, the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. They did, however, continue to pay less for gas in the last decade than the nation overall.

The Philadelphia region includes the Pennsylvania suburbs, South Jersey, and parts of Delaware and Maryland.

The cost of electricity was 27.6 percent more than the national average, and the price has increased from last year.

Regional customers paid 4 percent more than a year earlier for a kilowatt-hour of electricity - $0.157 - and 41.4 percent more than in 1999 and 2000 when prices were at its lowest in the past 10 years.

The region's natural gas price has been above the national average in November for eight of the last 10 years.

Last month, natural gas cost 23.8 percent more than the national average and double what it cost locally in 2000.

Gas prices locally were down substantially in November from a year ago, though slightly more than the national average.

In eight of the last 10 years, however, the region has paid less for gas.