Survey Forms

FAQs for Survey Form EIA-878

What is the purpose of this survey?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Form EIA-878, "Motor Gasoline Price Survey" is designed to collect data on the cash, pump price (including taxes) of self-serve, unleaded gasoline, by grade of gasoline. The data are used to calculate average gasoline prices at the national, regional, and select State and city levels across all gasoline grades and formulations. These data are point-in-time estimates as of 8:00 a.m. Monday.

The average prices are released every Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a Federal holiday) through DOE's 24-hour telephone hotline at 202-586-6966. These average prices are also published in the Gasoline & Diesel Fuel Update and released electronically to subscribers of EIA's email notification (regular and wireless). In addition, these average prices are released to the public by the media, including print, radio, and sometimes television. The statistics are widely used to inform the public and policymakers about current retail gasoline prices, and is one of EIA's most viewed products.

What is the estimated time needed to complete this telephone survey?

The reporting burden for this survey is estimated to take an average of 3 minutes per response, including the time of gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reporting the information. The amount of time required will vary depending on the mode of data collection and number of outlets.

When and how can I submit data each week?

Every Monday around 8:00 a.m. your station or corporate contact will be telephoned and asked to report your cash pump prices (including all taxes) of regular, midgrade, and premium gasoline as of 8:00 a.m. For Federal holidays falling on a Monday, you may be called on Tuesday instead for prices as of 8:00 a.m. Monday.

If you would prefer to report using one of the following options we require your data to be submitted prior to 9:00 a.m. local time:

  • Web Survey – allows you to report prices in a secure online survey
  • Email – send prices to EIA via a secure email account,
  • Fax – fax prices to a secure, toll-free fax number, 1-877-359-6637
  • Telephone Interview – call to report prices to a live interviewer, 1-866-582-4052

Where can I find the published data?

Do I have to report data?

Yes. The report is mandatory. The timely submission of Form EIA-878 by those required to report is mandatory under Section 13(b) of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 (FEAA) (Public Law 93-275), as amended.

Failure to respond may result in a civil penalty of not more than $2,750 per day for each violation, or a fine of not more than $5,000 per day for each criminal violation. The government may bring a civil action to prohibit reporting violations which may result in a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction without bond. In such civil action, the court may also issue mandatory injunctions commanding any person to comply with these reporting requirements.

Why was my outlet selected to participate in this survey?

It is very important for those companies selected to participate in the survey to ensure accuracy and reliability of the published data. A representative sample of outlets is surveyed in order to minimize public reporting burden. We need sufficient geographic coverage to produce national, regional, state and city estimates. A representative sample includes a selection of large, medium and small outlets.

The probability of selection of any particular outlet depends on the sampling method, target coefficient of variance, and allocation method. A large outlet has a higher probability of selection than a smaller one. It is important to have a representative sample of outlets by geographic area and size. Outlets are randomly selected from the sampling frame.

How long is my outlet required to report on this survey?

It is important when producing trend statistics to ensure consistency over time in the time-series data. This is important to users of the data - policy makers, industry and financial analysts, researchers, media, and the public. Duration an outlet is required to report depends on several factors, including changes in the industry, sample design and frequency of sample selection.

Are my data confidential?

Yes. Please be assured that the price information you provide is confidential and will be used for statistical purposes only. Your prices will be used along with other prices to calculate select city, state, regional and national average retail prices, by grade and formulation, which will be used by the Executive Branch, Congress, and industry in monitoring gasoline markets.

EIA follows rigorous steps to safeguard your data. In accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) of 2002 (Title V of the E-Government Act of 2002) your responses will not be used for any regulatory, administrative, law enforcement, or adjudicatory purposes. By law, anyone working on this EIA survey is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both if he or she discloses any information that could identify any confidential survey response.

Should I inform you of a change in the contact person in our company for Form EIA-878?

Yes. Whenever there is a change in the contact person for Form EIA-878 at your company please contact a representative at 1-866-582-4052 or via email at

The contact person should be the person who can answer questions about the data you report.

Should I inform you if our company is sold, merged with another company, or buys another company?

Yes. Whenever there is any change in ownership please inform a representative at 1-866-582-4052 or via email at

How do you define regular, midgrade, and premium motor gasoline?

For the EIA-878 survey, the grades of gasoline are defined by their octane rating and ethanol content as shown in the following table:

Grade Octane Rating Ethanol Content
Regular 85, 86, or 87 Contains no ethanol (E0) or Contains up to 10% ethanol (E10)
Midgrade 88, 89, or 90 E0 to E10
Premium 91 or higher E0 to E10

I sell a regular grade (e.g. 87 octane) with up to 10% ethanol and a regular grade with no ethanol. Which price do I report?

For this case, please provide the price for your regular grade (87 octane) with up to 10% ethanol.

I sell a regular grade (e.g. 87 octane) with no ethanol and a regular grade with 15% ethanol (E15). Which price do I report?

For this case, please provide the price for your regular grade with no ethanol. We currently do not collect prices for E15 and above for the Motor Gasoline Price Survey (EIA-878).

Do you want my price for E15 or E85?

No. Please provide prices for the grades of gasoline containing either no ethanol (E0) or up to 10% ethanol (E10).

I do not have self-serve at this station. Do you still want my price?

Yes. If you do not sell self-serve, then provide your price for mini-serve or full-serve.

I do not accept cash at this station. Do you still want my price?

Yes. If you do not accept cash at your station location, then please provide your credit card price.