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4671.0 - Household Energy Consumption Survey, User Guide, Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/09/2013  First Issue
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GLOSSARY

Accounts with financial institutions

Accounts held with banks or any other financial institutions, e.g. credit unions, building societies, insurance companies, finance companies. Examples of types of accounts include: passbook, statement, cheque or term deposit accounts.

Administrative data

Are collected as part of the day to day processes and record keeping of organisations. Administrative data, such as historical data or public records, include: school enrolments; hospital admissions; records of births, deaths, and marriages. The data are not collected initially for statistical purposes but can be organised to produce statistics.

Age

Person's age last birthday.

Air conditioner

An apparatus for controlling the temperature of an enclosed space. It can be portable or fixed into the structure of the dwelling, usually in the wall or ceiling. Common types of air conditioner include reverse-cycle, evaporative and wall/ window mounted air conditioning.

Assets

An entity of a financial or non-financial nature, owned by the household or its members, and from which economic benefits may be derived by holding or use over a period of time.

Balance of state

That part of each Australian state or territory not defined as capital city. Balance of state estimates for Northern Territory are regarded as too unreliable to publish separately since they exclude collection districts defined as very remote which account for about 23% of the NT population. All of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this survey.

Before and/or after school care

A type of formal child care provided for school aged children before and/or after school during the school term. Some services also provide care on 'pupil free days'. The services usually make use of established facilities such as schools, community halls, and recreation centres.

Bond

In the context of investments, a bond is a certificate of ownership of a specified portion of a debt. May be issued by a government agency or private corporation to individuals or companies and usually bears a fixed interest rate of return on investment. In the context of rented dwellings, bond is money paid in addition to any rent by a new tenant as surety against damages to the premises rented.

Bottled gas

Bottled gas is gas provided in a large bottle or canister which is located near the house. A gas retailer may remove and replace empty canisters or refill them. Bottled gas specifically used for outdoor barbecues was excluded from the survey

Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS)

Provides a measure of housing utilisation. The CNOS assesses the bedroom requirements of a household by specifying that:

  • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom
  • children less than 5 years of age of different sexes may reasonably share a bedroom
  • children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom
  • single household members aged 18 years and over should have a separate bedroom, as should parents or couples
  • a lone person household may reasonably occupy a bed sitter.

The CNOS variable on the file compares the number of bedrooms required with the actual number of bedrooms in the dwelling.

Capital city

Refers to Australia's six State capital city Statistical Divisions and the Darwin Statistical Division as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0). All of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this survey.

Ceiling fan

An apparatus usually electrically powered, suspended from the ceiling of a room that uses rotating paddles to circulate air.

Changeover buyer

A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and either the reference person or partner had owned or been purchasing a home previously.

Child care assistance

Includes social transfers in kind relating to the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate and associated administrative costs. Child care assistance is a component of welfare benefits.

Child Care Benefit (CCB)

Assistance in the form of a payment made by the Australian Government to help with the costs of child care for families who use either approved or registered child care. The scheme is means-tested and families can either receive CCB as a lump sum payment, or as reduced child care fees.

Child Care Rebate (CCR)

Child Care Rebate covers 50 per cent of out-of-pocket child-care expenses, up to a maximum amount per child per year. The CCR is available for families who qualify for Child Care Benefit (CCB) and meet a work, study and training test.

Children's assets

Any assets owned by children in the household that are not included in the value of the household contents. These assets can be financial (e.g. a child's bank accounts, assets held in trusts, bonds, debenture stock) or can be non-financial (e.g. jewellery or property held in trust for the children).

Clean Energy Advance

A tax-exempt lump sum payment, paid to pensioners, other income support recipients, families receiving Family Tax Benefit payments and Seniors Supplement recipients, provided they meet eligibility requirements.

Climate zone

The climate zone classifications used are based on the eight climate zones defined by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). Each climate zone is based on humidity, temperature and rainfall characteristics. For further information see the 'Climate zone' section of this user guide.

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA)

Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) is a non-taxable income supplement paid through Centrelink to individuals and families who rent in the private rental market. It is only paid to recipients of another government benefit or pension, and paid in conjunction with that other benefit.

Compact fluorescent lamp (CFL)

A fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent lamp, which uses a curved or folded tube to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb.

Connected to the grid

Households with solar panels which are connected to the grid can export volumes of electricity to the electricity network.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

A general measure of price inflation for the household sector in Australia. Specifically, it provides a measure of changes, over time, in the cost of a constant basket of goods and services acquired by the capital city households in Australia.

Contents of dwelling

This is a non-financial asset and comprises an estimated value of household contents. Examples include: clothing, jewellery, hobby collections, furniture, paintings and other works of art, soft furnishings and electrical appliances other than fixtures such as stoves and built-in items.

Continuous hot water system

Continuous hot water systems heat the water at any time of the day or night and can generate hot water as needed (also known as an instantaneous hot water system) or use a storage tank.

Cost of child care

The cost, gross of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate, to parents for a child to attend care.

Couple

See One family households.

Couple family with dependent children

See One family households.

Couple, one family household

A one family household consisting of:

  • one couple only
  • one couple, with their dependent and/or non-dependent children only
  • one couple, with or without children, plus other relatives
  • one couple, with or without children and other relatives, plus unrelated individuals.

Credit card debt

The amount owing on the respondent's latest credit card account statement (including any government, interest of financial institution charges), irrespective of whether it was paid off by the due date. Includes amounts owing on specialised retail shopping cards as well as general credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and store credit cards but excludes Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

Debenture

A formal acknowledgement of indebtedness by a company. Interest is paid by the company at specific intervals. A loan or deposit can be called a debenture if it is secured over company assets. Unlike shareholders, debenture holders have a creditor relationship with the company. Instead of dividends, debenture holders receive interest on their debentures which is accounted for by the company as an expense.

Deciles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.

Dependent children

All persons aged under 15 years; and persons aged 15–24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Disposable income

Gross income less income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge i.e. remaining income after taxes are deducted, which is available to support consumption and/or saving. Income tax, Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are imputed based on each person's income and other characteristics as reported in the survey. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income.

Dwelling

Defined as a suite of rooms contained within a building which are self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures. Examples of types of dwelling include: separate house; semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse; flat, unit, or apartment; and other dwelling, including caravan, cabin, houseboat, and house or flat attached to a shop.

Dwelling energy

Any source of energy that is used within a dwelling, such as electricity or gas.

Earners

Persons (excluding dependent children) who receive income from wages or salaries, who are engaged in their own business or partnership, or are silent partners in a business or partnership.

Electricity distributor

Entity responsible for the provision of electricity from the transmission network to customers. Distributors own, operate and maintain the electricity network (meters, poles and wires) and have set geographical boundaries of operation (also see electricity retailer).

Electricity concessions

Includes social transfers in kind relating to electricity concessions and rebates.

Electricity consumption

The amount of electricity used by a dwelling.

Electricity network grid

The interconnected network of transmission lines, power stations and transformers that deliver electricity from power stations to consumers. Dwellings that generate electricity can export electricity they produce to the grid.

Electricity read period

The amount of time elapsed between each reading of an electrical meter. As the amount of electricity read is used for calculating electricity bills, these are also known as billing periods. In most areas of Australia these are a period of approximately 90 days.

Electricity retailer

Entity customers buy electricity from. Retailers facilitate services such as connection/disconnection and arrange for the bills to be issued to customers. Retailers can operate across any distribution region (also see electricity distributor).

Electricity supplied from residential meters

The amount of electricity exported to the electricity network grid from dwellings with net or gross metering.

Net and Gross electricity meter reads collected between 1 January to 31 December were combined to create annual electricity export volumes. For meter read periods that overlap calendar years, (e.g. meter reading start date of December 2011 and end date of February 2012) total supply and generation figures were pro-rated across the appropriate years.

Electricity supplied to residential meters

The amount of electricity imported from the electricity network grid.

All individual electricity meter reads collected between 1 January to 31 December were combined to create annual electricity import volumes. For meter read periods that overlap calendar years, (e.g. meter reading start date of December 2011 and end date of February 2012) total supply and generation figures were pro-rated across the appropriate years.

Employed

Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:

  • worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers)
  • worked one hour or more, without pay, in a family business or on a family farm
  • had a job, business or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.

Employee

An employed person who, for most of his/her working hours:

  • works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind
  • operates their own incorporated enterprise with or without employees.

Employer

A person who operates his or her own unincorporated business or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.

Employment income

See Wages and salaries.

Energy source

Any power source or material (such as wood, coal, gas, solar or oil) which can produce heat or power. This includes energy or fuel used for heating, cooking, hot water, lighting and fuel for vehicles.

Energy costs as a proportion of gross household income

The total weekly energy costs of a group (e.g. one parent households) divided by the total gross weekly income of that group, expressed as a percentage.

Equity in the dwelling

A household's equity in the dwelling is the difference between the value of the dwelling and the total amount outstanding on mortgages taken out on the dwelling for any purpose, or unsecured loans taken out for housing purposes.

Equivalised disposable household income

Disposable household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to disposable household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the disposable household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. For further information see the chapter on 'Income'.

Equivalisation

Can be applied to income (private income, disposable income, final income), net worth and expenditure to create equivalised private household income, equivalised disposable household income, equivalised final household income, equivalised household net worth, and equivalised household expenditure. Adjustments are made using an equivalence factor. Equivalised measures are used in some analyses to enable comparison of the relative economic wellbeing of households of different size and composition. For a lone person household, the equivalised value is equal to the original value. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the level that would be needed by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. For further information on the process of equivalisation, see Appendix 2 'Equivalised disposable household income' in the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia 2011–12 (cat. no. 6553.0).

Equivalising factor

A factor that can be used to adjust the actual incomes of households in a way that enables analysis of the relative wellbeing of households of different size and composition. The equivalising factor included on the file has been calculated using the 'modified OECD' equivalence scale. The factor is built up by allocating points to each person in a household. Taking the first adult in the household as having a weight of 1 point, each additional person who is 15 years or older is allocated 0.5 points, and each child under the age of 15 is allocated 0.3 points. The equivalence factor is the sum of the equivalence points allocated to the household members. Equivalised household income can be derived by dividing total household income by the equivalence factor. For further information see Appendix 2 'Equivalised disposable household income' in the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia 2011–12 (cat. no. 6553.0).

Evaporative air conditioner

Consists of a motor driven fan, a dust filter, a water tank and a wetting medium. Hot air is drawn across the medium which is saturated with water from the tank. The water evaporates, absorbing heat from the air, and cooler moist air is blown into the room. Not very efficient in cooler climates.

Feed-in tariff

Financial payments or credit received for the volume of electricity households connected to the grid may receive.

Family

Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.

Family composition of household

Classifies households into three broad groupings based on the number of families present (one family, multiple family and non-family). One family households are further disaggregated according to the type of family (such as couple family or one-parent family) and according to whether or not dependent children are present. Non-family households are disaggregated into lone person households and group households.

Family day care

A type of formal child care provided by experienced caregivers in their own homes, available for a full day or part day. Schemes are administered and supported by central coordination units.

Family Tax Benefit (FTB)

Includes Family Tax Benefit (both Part A and Part B) payments received fortnightly, as well as additional cash allowances such as rent assistance. It also includes one-off payments to families.

Feed-in tariff

Financial payments or credit received for the volume of electricity households connected to the grid may receive.

Financial assets

An asset whose value arises not from its physical existence (as would a building, piece of land, or capital equipment) but from a contractual relationship. Financial assets are mostly financial claims (with the exception of shares and value of own unincorporated business). Financial claims entitle the owner to receive a payment, or a series of payments, from an institutional unit to which the owner has provided funds. Examples include accounts held with financial institutions (including offset accounts), ownership of an incorporated business, shares, debentures and bonds, trusts, superannuation funds, and loans to other persons.

First home buyer

A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and neither the reference person nor their co-resident partner had owned or been purchasing a home previously.

Fixed payment plans

An arrangement made between an electricity or mains gas provider for the household to pay a fixed amount at regular intervals to cover expected energy costs throughout the year.

Flat, unit or apartment

Includes all self-contained dwellings in blocks of flats, units or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category includes houses converted into flats and flats attached to houses such as granny flats. A house with a granny flat attached is regarded as a separate house.

Fluorescent tube

A light source consisting of a glass tube that uses fluorescence to produce visible light.

Formal child care

Regulated child care away from the child's home. The main types of formal care are before and/or after school care, long day care, family day care, occasional care and vacation care.

Fuel for vehicles

Any fuel that is used for a vehicle, such as petrol, diesel or LPG.

Full-time employed

Employed persons who usually work 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs).

Full-time student

A person 15 years or over who is classified as a full-time student by the institution they attend, or considers himself/herself to be a full-time student. Full-time study does not preclude employment.

Generating dwelling

A dwelling that generates electricity through the use of small scale renewable technologies (e.g. solar photovoltaic panels). A generating dwelling will have either a net or gross meter to record electricity imports and exports.

Generation

The amount of electricity a dwelling generates through the use of small scale renewable technologies (e.g. solar photovoltaic panels) that is then used by the dwelling or fed back into the electricity network grid.

Government pensions and allowances

Income support payments from government to persons under social security and related government programs. Included are pensions and allowances received by aged, disabled, unemployed and sick persons, families and children, veterans or their survivors, and study allowances for students. All overseas pensions and benefits are included here, although some may not be paid by overseas governments. Family Tax Benefit, Baby Bonus and Child Disability Assistance Payment paid to recipients of Carer Allowance are also included in government pensions and allowances.

GreenPower

GreenPower provides an option for households, through their electricity retailer, to pay a premium for electricity generated from renewable sources that is fed into the national electricity grid.

Gross imputed rent

The estimated market rent that a dwelling would attract if it were to be commercially rented.

Gross income

Income from all sources, whether monetary or in kind, before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted.

Gross metering

Total electricity supply and generation are recorded separately. All electricity generated by the dwelling exported to the electricity grid. All electricity supplied to the dwelling is imported from the electricity grid.

Group household

See Non-family household.

Halogen light

An incandescent lamp with a small amount of halogen added.

Heat pump hot water system

A heat pump system removes energy from a low temperature source (ambient air or waste water) and moves it to a high temperature hot water tank.

Heaters

An apparatus for controlling the temperature of an enclosed space. It can be portable or fixed into the structure of the dwelling, usually in the wall or ceiling. Common types of heaters include ducted gas, reverse-cycle air conditioners, wall/ window mounted gas or electric and portable heaters.

Hot water system

A device used for heating water for a dwelling. The energy source for heating is generally solar, gas or electricity, although some houses use other sources e.g. wood combustion.

Household

A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.

Household questionnaire

Used to collect information on household characteristics, dwelling energy expenditure, housing costs and household assets and liabilities.

Household reference person

The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 years and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:

  • the person with the highest tenure when ranked as follows: owner without a mortgage, owner with a mortgage, renter, other tenure
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children
  • a lone parent with dependent children
  • the person with the highest income
  • the eldest person.

Housing costs

Housing costs for the purposes of the publication Housing Occupancy and Costs, Australia, 2011–12 (cat. no. 4130.0), comprise the following costs for the three different tenure type categories:

  • rent payments
  • rates payments (general and water)
  • mortgage or unsecured loan payments if the initial purpose was primarily to buy, build, add to, or alter the dwelling.

Some additional items relating to housing costs are available to enable alternative estimates of housing costs to be constructed.

Housing utilisation

Provides a measure of the bedroom requirements of a household according to household size and composition. See Canadian National Occupancy Standard.

Imputation

Is a statistical process for predicting values where no response was provided to a question and a response could not be derived.

Incandescent light (GLS)

A bulb or lamp which produces light when a filament wire glows by being heated to a high temperature by an electric current passing through it. Also known as General Lighting Service (GLS).

Income

Income consists of all current receipts, whether monetary or in kind, that are received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption.

Income includes receipts from:

  • wages and salaries and other receipts from employment (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of salary sacrificed and/or salary package arrangements
  • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
  • net investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
  • government pensions and allowances
  • private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and financial support received from family members not living in the same household).

Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted. Other measures of income are Disposable income and Equivalised disposable household income.

Note that child support and other transfers from other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers.

Income tax

See Taxes on income.

Income unit

One person or a group of related persons within a household, whose command over income is assumed to be shared. Income sharing is assumed to take place within married (registered or de facto) couples, and between parents and dependent children.

Income unit reference person

The male partner in a couple income unit, the parent in a one parent income unit and the person in a one person income unit.

Incorporated business

An incorporated business is a company that has a registered business name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and a legal status which is separate to that of the individual owners of the business.

Individual questionnaire

Used to collect information from each person aged 15 years and over on individual details such as income, personal assets, education, expenditure on vehicle fuels and labour force status.

Industry

Coded for all employed people aged 15 years and over, using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 1.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

Informal child care

Non-regulated child care, arranged by a child's parent/guardian, either in the child's home or elsewhere. It comprises care by (step) brothers or sister, care by grandparents, care by other relatives (including a parent living elsewhere) and care by other (unrelated) people such as friends, neighbours, nannies or babysitters. It may be paid or unpaid.

Instantaneous hot water system

See continuous hot water system.

Insulation

Refers to insulating materials placed in the walls, ceilings, roof or floors of a dwelling to keep it at a constant temperature by minimising heat transfer. It comes in different forms, the most common being loose-fill insulation, blanket insulation, rigid board insulation and spray-foam insulation.

Investment income

Income received as a result of ownership of assets. It comprises returns from financial assets (interest, dividends), and from non-financial assets (rent and royalties).

Investment loan

A loan taken out for the purpose of financing investment, excluding loans for business purposes and rental property.

Kilowatt hour (kWh)

A common unit of measurement for electricity supply. It is a unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (1,000 watts) of power expended for one hour of time.

Labour force status

Classifies all people aged 15 years and over according to whether they were employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.

Landlord type

For renters, the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made. Renters are classified to one of the following categories:

  • state/territory housing authority—where the household unit pays rent to a state or territory housing authority or trust
  • private landlords—where the unit pays rent to a real estate agent or to another person not in the same household
  • person in the same household—where the unit pays rent to a person who resides in the same household
  • other-where the unit pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Liability

A liability is an obligation which requires one unit (the debtor) to make a payment or a series of payments to the other unit (the creditor) in certain circumstances specified in a contract between them.

Light-emitting diode (LED)

A device that emits light when an electrical current is passed through it. Typically LEDs used for lighting comprise a small series of lights which make up a larger display.

Loan

A form of liability that is created when creditors lend funds directly to debtors. Examples include an overdraft from a bank, money lent by a building society with a mortgage over a property as collateral, and personal loans.

Loans for owner occupied dwelling

Principal outstanding on loans used to purchase, build, alter, or make additions to the selected dwelling. Includes money borrowed for a deposit on the selected dwelling, and bridging finance taken out until such time as a loan or mortgage is obtained or the dwelling is bought outright. Where only a proportion of a loan is used for the owner occupied dwelling, only that proportion of the principal outstanding is included.

Lone person household

See Non-family household.

Long day care centre

A type of formal child care that is centre-based and is available to children between birth and school age for the full day or part day. Centres are usually open for most of the year.

Longitudinal component

A voluntary longitudinal follow-up questionnaire where households provided details relating to changes in household energy costs, consumption and behaviour, every three months, up to a maximum of four times, until March 2013.

Low Economic Resource Household

People with low economic resources are those in households in the lowest two quintiles (i.e. 40%) of both equivalised adjusted disposable household income and equivalised household net worth.

Low flow shower head

A shower head that has a water efficient or low flow regulator fitted to it so as to restrict water flow.

LPG

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, also called LP Gas, or autogas) is the generic name for mixtures of hydrocarbon (mainly propane or butane). It is used as a fuel in heating appliances and vehicles.

Main English speaking countries

For the purposes of the country of birth classification used on the CURF, main English speaking countries comprise New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, United States of America and South Africa.

Main cooling system used during summer

The appliance type with the highest total sum hours of usage, as based on the average usage hours and number of coolers reported on the self-complete paper form.

Main heating system used during winter

The appliance type with the highest total sum hours of usage, as based on the average usage hours and number of heaters reported on the self-complete paper form.

Main living areas

Main living areas include the kitchen, dining room, lounge/ family room and main bedroom of a dwelling.

Main source of income

That source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the main source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the main source may account for less than 50% of gross income.

Main source of income

That source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the main source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the main source may account for less than 50% of gross income.

Mains gas

Natural gas supplied to a dwelling via an underground mains gas pipeline network.

Mean

The mean is the sum of the value of each observation in a dataset divided by the number of observations. This is also known as the arithmetic average.

Mean housing costs

The total weekly housing costs paid by a group of households (e.g. couple only households) divided by the number of households in that group.

Mean income

The total income received by a group of units divided by the number of units in the group.

Mean net worth

Mean (or average) net worth is the total net worth of a group of units divided by the number of units in the group.

Median

The median is the middle value in a dataset when the values are arranged in ascending or descending order.

Medicare levy

Medicare is Australia's universal health care system. The Medicare levy is a specific tax, based on individual income, intended to assist in the funding of this system.

Medicare levy surcharge

The Medicare levy surcharge is a levy, or an additional tax, on Australian taxpayers who do not have an appropriate level of private hospital insurance and who are earning more than the specified income threshold.

Mesh blocks

Are the smallest geographic region in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and form the basis for the larger regions of the ASGS. There are approximately 347,000 mesh blocks covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. They broadly identify land use such as residential, commercial, agricultural and parks etc.

Mesh blocks are the building blocks for all the larger regions of the ASGS. As mesh blocks are very small they can be combined together to accurately approximate a large range of other statistical regions.

Meter counts

Is the sum of unique national meter identifiers that recorded a reading within the period of 1 January to 31 December.

Mortgage

A mortgage is a loan taken out using the usual residence as security. An owner with a mortgage must still owe money from such a loan.

Multiple family household

A household containing two or more families. Unrelated individuals may also be present.

National Meter Identifier (NMI)

A unique 10 digit value used to identify electricity meters.

Negative income

Income may be negative when a loss accrues to a household as an owner or partner in unincorporated businesses, rental properties or other investment income. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.

Negative net worth

Net worth may be negative when household liabilities exceed household assets.

Net imputed rent

Gross imputed rent less housing costs. Net imputed rent is an estimate of the value of housing services that households receive from home ownership or by households paying subsidised rent or occupying their dwelling rent free. Housing costs for the purpose of calculating net imputed rent for owner-occupiers comprise:

  • rates payments (general and water)
  • body corporate fees
  • the interest component of repayments of loans that were obtained for the purposes of purchasing or building
  • rent payments
  • house insurance costs
  • repair and maintenance costs.

Net metering

Electricity generated is consumed by the dwelling in the first instance, with any excess generation exported to the electricity grid. If a dwelling's electricity requirements exceed its generation capabilities, then energy is imported from the network grid. (Note: Total electricity consumption and generation for a dwelling with net metering is unknown, as the amount of generated energy used within the dwelling is not captured by the meter. Only the shortfall of electricity that is imported to the dwelling or the excess of electricity generated that is exported to the grid is measured by this type of meter).

Net worth

Net worth is the value of a household's assets less the value of its liabilities. Net worth may be negative when household liabilities exceed household assets.

Non-dependent children

Persons aged 15 years and over who:

  • do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household
  • have a parent in the household
  • are not full-time students aged 15-24 years.

Non-family household

A household that consists of unrelated persons only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories:

  • Group household—a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.
  • Lone person household—a household consisting of a person living alone.

Non-financial assets

Non-financial assets are all assets other than financial assets. Examples include residential and non-residential property, household contents and vehicles.

Non-generating dwelling

A dwelling that does not generate electricity (e.g. does not have solar photovoltaic panels).

Non-generation metering

All electricity supplied to the dwelling is imported from the electricity grid. The dwelling does not have access to small scale electricity technologies and therefore there is no generation of electricity in this dwelling.

Not in the labour force

Persons not in the categories employed or unemployed as defined.

Occasional care

A type of formal child care provided mainly for children who have not started school. These services cater mainly for the needs of families who require short term care for their children.

Occupation

Coded for all employed persons aged 15 years and over, using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO), First Edition 2006 (cat. no. 1220.0).

Off peak hot water system

An off-peak hot water system only receives electricity at set times, usually when tariffs are lower and stores hot water within a storage tank. Systems with a twin element, which use both continuous and off-peak power, were coded as off-peak as the main element uses off-peak power.

Offset accounts

An offset account is an account with a financial institution that is linked to a home loan. The balance in offset accounts reduces the interest charged on the loan.

One family households

One family households are classified to one of the following categories:

  • couple only-two persons in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household
  • couple family with dependent children- a household consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
  • one parent family with dependent children- a household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
  • other one family households- a household comprising
    • one couple with their non-dependent children only
    • one couple, with or without non-dependent children, plus other relatives
    • one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals
    • a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals
    • two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).
One parent family with dependent children

See One family households.

One parent, one family household

A one family household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child. The household may also include other relatives and unrelated individuals.

Other dwelling

Includes caravans, houseboats, or houses or flats attached to a shop or other commercial premise.

Other formal child care

A type of formal child care other than before and/or after school care, long day care, family day care, occasional care and vacation care.

Other income

Income other than wages and salaries, own unincorporated business income and government pensions and allowances. This includes income received as a result of ownership of financial assets (interest, dividends), and of non-financial assets (rent, royalties) and other current receipts from sources such as superannuation, child support, workers' compensation and scholarships. Income from rent is net of operating expenses and depreciation and may be negative when these are greater than gross receipts.

Other landlord type

Where the unit (i.e. household, income unit or person, where applicable) pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.

Other one family households

See One family households.

Other payments

Households that receive income from other government pensions and allowances. These include overseas pensions and benefits, partner allowance, sickness allowance, special benefit, war widow pension (DVA), widow allowance, wife pensions, seniors supplement, and other government pensions and allowances.

Other private income

Private income other than employee income, government pensions and allowance and income from own business. It includes superannuation, workers' compensation, child support and any other allowances regularly received as well as interest and property rent.

Other property loans

Principal outstanding on loans used to purchase, build, alter, or make additions to property rented out, loans taken out by people in rental properties who are buying or building a home somewhere else, and loans taken for alterations and additions to other property. Where only a proportion of a loan is used for the property, only that proportion of the principal outstanding is included.

Other sources of household energy

Includes sources of energy used in the dwelling other than electricity or gas, such as firewood, oil etc.

Other tenure type

A unit (i.e. household, income unit or person, where applicable) which is not an owner (with or without a mortgage), or a renter. Includes rent free.

Own account worker

A person who operates his or her own unincorporated business or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees.

Own unincorporated business income

The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated businesses. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the business after the deduction of operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.

Owner (of dwelling)

A unit (i.e. household, income unit or person, where applicable) in which at least one member owns the dwelling in which the unit members usually reside. Owners are divided into two categories—owners without a mortgage and owners with a mortgage. If there is any outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the unit is an owner with a mortgage. If there is no mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the unit is an owner without a mortgage.

Part-time employed

An employed person who usually works less than 35 hours per week.

"Pay As You Go" metering

Meters that utilise pre-paid credits for electricity usage. Dwellings on this type of meter do not receive power bills or have their meters read by distributors and hence are not captured in the BSRED.

Percentiles

When all households or persons in the population are ranked from the lowest to the highest on the basis of some characteristic such as their household income, they can then be divided into equal sized groups. Division into 100 groups gives percentiles. The highest value of the characteristic in the tenth percentile is denoted P10. The median or the top of the 50th percentile is denoted P50. P20, P80 and P90 denote the highest values in the 20th, 80th and 90th percentiles.

Portable air conditioner/ heater

A portable air conditioner can be moved around the dwelling. It is often on wheels.

Previous financial year income

Income earned in the period July 2010 to June 2011 or July 2011 to June 2012, depending on the date of interview.

Private dwelling

Houses, flats, home units, caravans, garages, tents and other structures that are used as places of residence. These are distinct from special dwellings which include hotels, boarding houses and institutions.

Private income

Current receipts from private organisations and other households, including wages and salaries, income from own business, superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, interest, dividends, royalties, income from rental properties, scholarships and child support.

Private renter

A unit (i.e. household, income unit or person, where applicable) paying rent to a landlord who is a real estate agent, a parent or other relative not in the same unit or another person not in the same unit.

Property

All residential and non-residential properties owned by persons in the household, excluding properties owned by the respondent's business.

Public renter

A unit (i.e. household, income unit or person, where applicable) paying rent to a state or territory housing authority/trust.

Quintiles

Groupings that result from ranking units in the population (e.g. households or electricity meters) in ascending order according to some characteristic (e.g. energy expenditure or supply or generation volume) and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population.

Reference person

See Household reference person and Income unit reference person.

Relative standard error (RSE)

The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate for which it was calculated. It is a measure which is independent of both the size of the sample, and the unit of measurement and as a result, can be used to compare the reliability of different estimates. The smaller an estimate's RSE, the more likely it is that the estimate is a good proxy for that which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. For further information see 'Reliability of estimates'.

Renter

A unit that pays rent to reside in the dwelling. See 'Landlord type' for further classification.

Residential tariff

The electricity pricing scheme applicable to residential dwellings.

Reverse cycle air conditioner

A reverse cycle air conditioner may also be used as a heater (often referred to as heat pump systems). The temperature is able to be varied between warm and cool settings.

Salary packaging

An arrangement for the employer to remunerate the employee with a combination of cash wages and salaries and one or more non-cash benefits, to the value of the employee's total remuneration.

Salary sacrifice

An arrangement under which an employee agrees contractually to forgo part of the remuneration, which the employee would otherwise receive as wages and salaries, in return for the employer or someone associated with the employer providing benefits of a similar value.

Schoolkids Bonus
Refer to Education Tax Refund.

Selected dwelling

The private dwelling selected in the sample for the survey.

Self-complete paper form

The form supplied to households during the household interview used to obtain information on selected heating, cooling, lighting and other appliances used in the household.

Semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse

A dwelling with its own private grounds and no dwelling above or below. A key feature of this dwelling is that it is either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or is separated from neighbouring dwellings (usually by less than one-half metre). Examples include semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses or villa units. Multistorey townhouses or units are separately identified from those which are single storey.

Separate house

A dwelling which is self-contained and separated from other houses (or other buildings or structures) by a space to allow access on all sides (usually at least one-half metre). This category also includes houses that have an attached flat (e.g. a granny flat). The attached flat will be included in the flat, unit or apartment category.

Shares

A share is a contract between the issuing company and the owner of the share which gives the latter an interest in the management of the corporation and the right to participate in profits. On the file the "value of shares" excludes the value of shares held by individuals in their own incorporated business. Such shares are included in "value of own incorporated business".

Significant person

Significant persons are defined as follows:

  • all members of lone person or couple only households
  • all parents in a couple with children household or a single parent household
  • the person aged 15 years or over in a group household where one person is aged 15 years or over and the other members of the household are less than 15 years old
  • 50% of the persons aged 15 years and over in all other households.

Solar electricity

Electricity supplied via solar panels, also known as photovoltaic or PV panels. Photovoltaic (PV) is a technology that uses solar cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity.

Solar hot water system

A system that uses solar energy to heat water for household use by absorbing sunlight as heat directly into the water-carrying tubes contained in the pane. Includes solar hot water systems that have boosters to heat water during periods of rain or overcast conditions, and when heavy demand exhausts the hot water supply before it can be reheated by the sun.

Standard error (SE)

A measure of the likely difference between estimates obtained in a sample survey and estimates which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. The magnitude of the standard error associated with any survey is a function of sample design, sample size and population variability. For further information see 'Reliability of estimates'.

Statistical Area 2 (SA2)

This is a classification of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) and are based on suburbs and regional localities. There are 2,214 SA2s across Australia and have an average population of about 10,000, with a minimum population of 3,000 and a maximum of 25,000.

Statistical Area 3 (SA3)

The SA3 regions are built from whole SA2s. In general, the SA3s are designed to have populations between 30,000 and 130,000 persons. SA3s are often the functional areas of regional towns and cities with a population in excess of 20,000 or clusters of related suburbs around urban commercial and transport hubs within the major urban areas.

Statistical Area 4 (SA4)

The SA4 regions are the largest sub-state regions in the main structure of the ASGS. SA4s are built from whole SA3s. In regional areas, SA4s tend to have populations closer to the minimum (100,000 - 300,000). In metropolitan areas, the SA4s tend to have larger populations (300,000 - 500,000).

Statistical Division (SD)

The largest spatial units within each state/territory in the main structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no.1216.0).

Strata

A strata title is where a title to a piece of property is divided into a number of units. In some cases, not all of the property is divided into saleable units but is retained as common property for all unit holders to use. Some examples of common property are elevators and corridor lighting.

Study Loans

Study loans are debts incurred under HELP, the government education payment scheme, and other government higher education schemes. They also include loans incurred prior to 2005 under the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) and the Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS). A feature of these loans is that the obligation to repay them only exists when the student's income exceeds a threshold. The debt is also extinguished upon death. The HELP scheme includes several education payment schemes, including HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP.

Superannuation

A long-term savings arrangement which operates primarily to provide income for retirement.

Superannuation/annuity income

Income from superannuation, annuities and private pensions such as allocated pensions.

Taxes on income

Taxes on income is the sum of personal income tax plus the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge for all members of the household. Taxes on income were imputed according to the 2011–12 and 2012–13 tax rules which were applied to the gross income of family members according to their characteristics as reported in the 2012 Household Energy Consumption Survey.

Tenure type

The nature of a unit's (i.e. household's, income unit's or person's, where applicable) legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the unit members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.

Trusts

Any type of managed fund which involves the pooling of investors' money in order for a trustee or professional manager to administer that fund. Examples include listed and unlisted public unit trusts, cash management trusts, property trusts and family trusts used only for investment purposes.

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the week before the interview and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks before the interview and:

  • were available for work in the week before the interview,
  • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the interview and would have started in the week before the interview if the job had been available then.

Unemployment and study payments

Households that receive income from Austudy/ABSTUDY, Newstart allowance or Youth allowance.

Unincorporated business

A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred.

Unsecured loan

A loan not requiring any security or collateral.

Vacation care

A formal child care service provided to school children during the school holidays.

Value of dwelling

The estimated value of the dwelling and its land, as estimated and reported by the respondent. The data are only collected for owners.

Vehicles

Vehicles include registered and unregistered vehicles used for private purposes including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, caravans, aircraft, boats and bicycles.

Vehicle loans

Principal outstanding on loans used to purchase motor vehicles. Where only a proportion of a loan is used to purchase a vehicle, only that proportion of the principal outstanding is included.

Wages and salaries

An employee's total remuneration, whether monetary or in kind, received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business. It comprises wages and salaries, bonuses, amounts salary sacrificed, non-cash benefits such as the use of motor vehicles and subsidised housing, and termination payments.

Wealth

See Net worth.

Year of arrival in Australia

The year a person (born outside Australia) first arrived in Australia from another country, with the intention of staying in Australia for one year or more.


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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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