4660.0 - Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, Australia, 2014-15 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/07/2016   
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The statistics presented in this release were compiled using a combination of data directly collected data by way of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and data collected by the Clean Energy Regulator under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS).

Please refer to ABS Institutional Environment for more information about the institutional environment of the ABS, including its legislative obligations, financing and governance arrangements and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations.


The main purpose of the collection was to measure electricity generation, energy and water expenditure and usage, and environmental management practices of Australian industry during 2014–15, for use in the compilation of environmental accounts.

This release is divided into two distinct sections which include Energy usage and Electricity generation, and Environmental management. The information collected will also be used by policy makers and analysts in both the public and private sectors to formulate and evaluate policy in such areas as:
  • sustainable energy supply and use;
  • climate change and renewable energy research and
  • innovation in Australian industry.

The businesses that contribute to the statistics in the publication are classified:

The scope of the collection included all businesses operating in the Australian economy during 2014–15, except for:
  • Agriculture (ANZSIC06 Subdivision 01);
  • Finance (ANZSIC06 Subdivision 62);
  • Insurance and superannuation funds (ANZSIC06 Subdivision 63);
  • Private households employing staff (ANZSIC06 Subdivision 96);
  • Financial units (SISCA08 2110, 2121, 2129, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2141, 2142, 2191, 2199, 2301, 2309) and
  • Micro Non-Employing Units (MNEUs).

General government (SISCA 3000) and government-owned or controlled Public Trading Enterprises are included.

Although the period covered by the estimates was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June, some businesses were unable to supply information on this basis. Businesses with off-June reporting periods made a substantial contribution to some of the estimates, for example, the Mining division and Petroleum and coal product manufacturing subdivision of ANZSIC06. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended 30 June 2015.

The collection is conducted on a triennial basis with estimates generally available within twelve months of the reference period to which they relate. For the 2014–15 reference period, questionnaires were despatched by ABS in September 2015. The estimates are scheduled for release in July 2016, thirteen months after the end of the reference period.


The ABS aims to produce high quality data from its industry collections while minimising the reporting burden on businesses. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into survey and questionnaire design, collection procedures and processing. Estimates were produced using number raised estimation methodology, which allowed high quality statistics to be produced from a sample of approximately 19,000 businesses.

Two types of error can occur in estimates that are based on a sample survey: sampling error and non-sampling error.

Sampling error occurs when a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. It reflects the difference between estimates based on a sample and those that would have been obtained had a census been conducted. One measure of this difference is the standard error. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Another measure of sampling error is the relative standard error, which is obtained by expressing the standard error as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The relative standard error is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the sampling error in percentage terms, and this avoids the need to refer also to the size of the estimate. Relative standard errors of key estimates are available in the Technical Note on data quality of Energy use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4660.0) publication.

Non-sampling error also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all businesses selected in the survey. For the 2014–15 Survey of Energy, Water and Environment (EWES), there was an 84.6% response rate from all businesses that were surveyed and found to be operating during the reference period. Data were imputed for the remaining 15.4% of operating businesses. This imputation contributed 7.4% to the total purchases of energy and fuels for all selected industries.


The Energy, Water and Environment Survey 2014–15 (EWES) was used to compile the estimates in the Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4660.0) publication. This is the third time that the survey was conducted, however it should be noted that although similar estimates were published in Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, 2011-12 (cat no. 4660.0), there are differences between the two publications which make comparison difficult and caution is advised.

The energy consumption figures presented in this publication may not be directly comparable with energy consumption statistics appearing in other ABS publications, for the following reasons:
  • the electricity and natural gas consumption figures presented in this publication represent the cost and quantity of electricity and natural gas purchased by businesses for their own consumption. These figures do not reflect energy consumed, which is not directly purchased by the business;
  • for other fuel types, the energy consumption figures presented represent the cost and quantity of energy used by businesses. These figures may exclude the value and quantity of energy produced and consumed in the intermediate steps of a businesses production process. For example, when a business purchases black coal to produce coke, and then uses the coke to produce another product, the value and quantity of the intermediate fuel product (coke) may not be reflected in the energy consumption figures for that particular business.

Amounts of electricity and natural gas purchased may not equal total amounts used. Electricity and natural gas purchased may include electricity and natural gas consumed by another business through a rent or leasing arrangement. It excludes electricity and natural gas consumed but not paid for by the business (eg invoiced to another business through a rent or leasing arrangement, or self-generated/self-sourced and not purchased from a provider).


Estimates from this publication are available as original series only, and are not seasonally nor trend adjusted.

Further information about terminology and other technical aspects associated with these statistics can be found in the publication Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, Australia, 2014–15 (cat. no. 4660.0), which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, A technical note on Data quality a technical note on Estimation methodology and a Glossary.


Data from the Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management Survey for 2014–15 (cat no. 4660.0) are available free of charge on the ABS website.