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Energy, Water and Environment Help Page
 

INTRODUCTION

This page contains information designed to help businesses/organisations understand and complete the questions asked on the Energy, Water and Environment Survey 2011-12. For general information about participation in business surveys, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

If your question about the Energy, Water and Environment Survey is not answered on this page, or in the information provided on your form, you can also call the freecall (excluding mobile numbers) phone number printed on the front of the form. Please note that a number of different form variations are used to collect information for the Energy, Water and Environment Survey. The information on this page relates to the form variation which a majority of respondents receive, labelled AIC12EWEL (top right corner of front page). While most information on this page is relevant for all Energy, Water and Environment Survey forms, some of the content below will not be relevant to all survey participants.

The information below has been compiled based on feedback from businesses and organisations during testing of the current survey instrument as well as including some general queries received across a range of industry surveys.

For further information on ABS run surveys, please refer to the ABS Surveys Charter, 2010 which specifies the standards involved in all our surveys.

PURPOSE OF COLLECTION

The Energy, Water and Environment Survey was first run in relation to the 2008-09 financial year and covered topics such as energy and water management, expenditure and usage; electricity generation; and environmental management activities by Australian businesses and organisations. The current survey instrument aims to collect similar data while expanding the scope of the survey to obtain data more representative of the Australian economy.

This 2011-12 survey collects data on the usage of energy and water, environmental management activities and electricity generation by businesses/organisations in Australia. Data will be published in Energy Account, Australia (cat. no. 4604.0), Water Account, Australia (cat. no. 4610.0), Energy Consumption and Electricity Generation, Australia (cat. no. 4664.0) and Environmental and Energy Use Management, Australia (cat. no. 4660.0). This information will be used by analysts and policy makers in both the public and private sectors to monitor management of Australia's resources.

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation was sold during the 2011-12 financial year?
Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation was sold before the start of the 2011-12 financial year?
What do I do if the business/organisation is still operating but didn't trade during the 2011-12 financial year?
Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation has gone into liquidation/administration during the 2011-12 financial year?

Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation was sold during the 2011-12 financial year?

If the business/organisation operated by the selected entity (e.g. ABN) was sold during the financial year, then the form should be completed using figures up to and including the day that the business was sold, as well as figures relating to any other new activity undertaken by the selected entity for the remainder of the financial year.

It is important to report the date the business was sold in Question 1 on the form. If the selected entity ceased to operate after the sale, indicate in the Comments section of Question 1 or at the rear of the form whether there are intentions for the business/organisation to trade in the future. Also provide the name of the new business owners in the Comments section of Question 1 or at the rear of the form.

Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation was sold before the start of the 2011-12 financial year?

If the business/organisation was sold prior to the beginning of the 2011-12 financial year, please contact the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the front of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey form. This will enable the ABS to stop sending the business/organisation reminder letters to return the form.

What do I do if the business/organisation is still operating but didn't trade during the 2011-12 financial year?

If the business/organisation is still operating, but did not trade during the 2011-12 financial year, please contact the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number printed on the front of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey form. This will enable the ABS to stop sending the business/organisation reminder letters to return the form.

Do I still need to complete the form if the business/organisation has gone into liquidation/administration during the 2011-12 financial year?

If the business/organisation has gone into liquidation or administration during the financial year, please complete the form using figures up to and including the day that the business was liquidated or went into administration. It is also important to report the date that this occurred by completing all of Question 1. If you are unable to access the accounts, then the liquidator or administrator should complete the survey. Where this is not possible, best available estimates of the data should be provided. Where estimates are not possible, please contact the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number printed on the front of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey form for further assistance.
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WATER SOURCES AND USAGE

What if my business/organisation is unable to provide volumes of potable/mains/raw and/or recycled (reuse) water received from a water supplier?
What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?
What if my business/organisation is unable to provide self-sourced water volumes as they are not measured or metered?
Conversion factors

What if my business/organisation is unable to provide volumes of potable/mains/raw and/or recycled (reuse) water received from a water supplier?

Volumes and expenditure on water received from a water supplier can be found on your water bill. Your accounts area should be able to supply the volumes and expenditure for water received for the survey period. For offices/locations of your business/organisation that are leased under arrangements that include payments for water received, please exclude associated water volumes as this information has been requested from the lessor.

What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?

Report expenditure and consumption of water received from a water supplier based on the consumption and expenditure detailed on the four quarterly bills or equivalent twelve month period closest to the 2011-12 reporting period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in Part 12 Comments section of the Energy, Water and Environment form.

What if my business/organisation is unable to provide self-sourced water volumes as they are not measured or metered?

If self-sourced water volumes are not available please provide a careful estimate of the self-sourced water extracted during the reporting period rather than the capacity of the business's/organisation's water storage facilities or the amount you are entitled to extract.

Conversion factors

Water
1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
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WATER SUPPLY AND DISCHARGE

What if my business/organisation uses water and then stores it on-site. Do I report the water volumes as water discharged to the environment (off-site)?
Conversion factors

What if my business/organisation uses water and then stores it on-site. Do I report the water volumes as water discharged to the environment (off-site)?

Only water volumes discharged off-site of your business's/organisation's location(s) should be reported as water discharged to the environment (off-site) including water released for environmental processes in accordance with a specific water plan prepared in conjunction with and/or approved by the appropriate environmental (resource) regulator. Mine dewatering and produced formation water (from oil and gas reservoirs) should also be included where this is discharged off-site. Exclusions include water discharged into on-site storage systems for later use (e.g. dams, tanks, wells), as well as water discharged into the sewerage system.

Conversion factors

Water
1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
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WATER EXPENSES

Do I include administrative charges such as service or access fees in payments for water received?
What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?

Do I include administrative charges such as service or access fees in payments for water received?

Administrative charges for water received from a water supplier like service or access fees should be included in payments for water received.

What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?

Report expenditure and consumption of water received from a water supplier based on the consumption and expenditure detailed on your last four quarterly bills or equivalent to a twelve month period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in Part 12 Comments section of the Energy, Water and Environment form.
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ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Do I report electricity/natural gas expenditure and consumption if they are paid for by other businesses/organisations through a rent or lease agreement?
What is meant by energy/fuels supplied on a non-monetary basis?
What if the billing period for purchased electricity or natural gas falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?
Fuel definitions
Conversion factors

Do I report electricity/natural gas expenditure and consumption if they are paid for by other businesses/organisations through a rent or lease agreement?

Do not report electricity/natural gas expenditure and consumption for offices/locations under leasing agreements where the electricity/natural gas bills are paid by the lessor.

What is meant by energy/fuels supplied on a non-monetary basis?

The use of energy products sourced from other business units (subsidiaries) within a business/organisation or from other businesses/organisations, where no corresponding financial transaction has taken place.

What if the billing period for purchased electricity or natural gas falls outside of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey reporting period?

Report expenditure and consumption of electricity and/or natural gas based on the consumption and expenditure detailed on the four quarterly bills, or equivalent twelve month period, closest to the 2011-12 reporting period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in Part 12 Comments section of the Energy, Water and Environment form.

Fuel Definitions
  • Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) - A combination of propane and butane, along with trace amounts of other compounds, recovered in either natural gas extraction or oil refining. The gases are transformed into a liquid to assist in transport.
  • Diesel (including biodiesel blends) - Fuel for diesel engines obtained from the distillation of petroleum. Includes both Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO) and Industrial Diesel Fuel (IDF). Biodiesel is a renewable fuel derived from vegetable oils or animal fats through the process of esterification. Biodiesel blended with conventional diesel, usually B5 or B20, is available at a number of service stations across Australia.
  • Petrol - A petroleum product used in motor vehicles. Also known as automotive gasoline. Includes:
    • Regular unleaded petrol - petrol that has zero lead content
    • Premium unleaded - a high octane fuel which has an octane rating of RON 95 and 98 and is designed for high performance unleaded engines
    • Ethanol blend - also known as E10. A blend of 10% ethanol fuel and 90% regular unleaded petrol
  • Aviation Turbine Fuel (AVTUR) - Kerosene and gasoline type fuels designed to meet specifications used in aviation turbine power units.
  • Fuel oil - The heavy distillates from oil refining, used as a fuel for burning in furnaces or boilers, ships and locomotives.
  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - Made by compressing purified natural gas. Used mainly in transportation.

Coal, coke and coal by-products
  • Black coal - A sedimentary organic rock consisting of anthracite, bituminous and sub-bituminous rank coals. Black coal is primarily used as a solid fuel to raise steam to generate electricity and to produce coke for steelmaking.
  • Coke - A material derived from heating coal in the absence of air. Used mainly as a fuel and reducing agent in smelting iron ore.
  • Brown coal - Also known as lignite, is a low rank, brownish-black coal with a high moisture content of around 60%.
  • Coal by-products - Additional products derived during the operation of coke ovens and blast furnaces. Coal by-products include both liquids (tars and liquid hydrocarbon by-products, such as coal tars and tar oils), and gases (such as coke oven gas and blast furnace gas).
  • Brown coal briquettes - Made from brown coal through a process of crushing, drying and the addition of a binding agent, to produce a compact, high energy fuel easily transported and commonly used for industrial and domestic heating.

Renewable fuels

Renewable fuels are combustible fuels derived from biological resources, including liquid biofuel, biogas, wood and bagasse.
  • Liquid biofuel unblended - Produced from renewable organic sources or 'feedstocks', biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel, and are commonly used as a fuel in transportation.
  • Biogas (e.g. landfill methane, digester gas) - Landfill (garbage tips) gas and sewerage gas. Also referred to as biomass gas.
  • Bagasse - A residue of the sugar cane milling process which can be used as a fuel.
  • Wood and wood waste
    • Wood - The hard fibrous material that forms the main substance of the trunk or branches of a tree or shrub, used for fuel or timber.
    • Wood waste - Includes sawdust, bark and black liquor (by-product of the paper manufacturing process).

Crude oil and other refinery fuels
  • Crude oil - A mixture of hydrocarbons, existing in the liquid state; both in natural underground reservoirs and at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities.
  • Refinery fuels - Fuel oil, refinery coke, and fuel gas as combusted or consumed by refineries.

Conversion factors

Electricity
1 megawatt hour (MWh) = 1,000 kilowatt hour (kWh)

Natural gas
1 gigajoule (GJ) = 1,000 megajoules (MJ)

Other fuels
1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)

Compressed Natural Gas
1 kilolitre (kL) = 1 cubic metre (m3)
1 megajoule (MJ) = 0.0254 cubic metres (m3) (please note that while the energy content of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) can vary, this is the accepted Australian standard energy content)
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ELECTRICITY GENERATION

Conversion factors
What is cogeneration?
What is trigeneration?

Conversion factors

Electricity
1 megawatt hour (MWh) = 1,000 kilowatt hour (kWh)
1 gigawatt hour (GWh) = 1 million kilowatt hours (kWh)

What is cogeneration?

Cogeneration is a process in which an industrial facility uses its waste energy (e.g. heat) to produce electricity and heat. It is also referred to as 'combined heat and power (CHP).

What is trigeneration?

Trigeneration is a process in which an industrial facility uses its waste energy to produce electricity, heat and cooling. It is also referred to as 'combined cooling, heat and power' (CCHP).
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ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS AND SERVICES

What are these questions intended to collect?
What is the environment goods and services sector?
What are Environmental Goods?
What are Environmental Services?
How do I report income received from the production/provision of Environmental Goods and/or Services?

What are these questions intended to collect?

Defining the Environmental Goods and Services sector is a complex topic. The sector produces/provides goods and services that can either improve the quality of the environment or prevent and minimise degradation. Part 7, Questions 25 and 26 of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey are designed to provide insight into this emerging industry with the longer term goal being to track production/provision of these goods and services through the economy. Responses provided in this section of the survey will assist the ABS in the categorisation of this industry and in the development of statistics for environmental goods and services in Australia.

What is the Environmental Goods and Services sector?

The environmental goods and services sector is a broad definition that covers businesses with activities for the purpose of:
  • Preventing or minimising pollution, degradation or depletion of natural resources
  • Reducing, eliminating, treating and managing pollution, degradation and depletion of natural resources or restoring existing environmental damage to air, water, waste, noise and the natural environment.
  • Carrying out other activities such as measurement and monitoring, control, research and development, education, training, information and communication related to the two types listed above.

What are Environmental Goods?

Environmental Goods can include, but are not limited to, products for the purpose of:
  • Pollution management and control - goods that help control air pollution; manage wastewater and solid waste; clean up soil, surface water and groundwater; reduce noise and vibrations; and facilitate environmental monitoring, analysis and assessment.
  • Cleaner and resource efficient technologies - goods that are intrinsically cleaner or more resource efficient than available alternatives.
  • Managing natural resources - goods used to control indoor pollution, conserve water supply, or to help manage farms, forests or fisheries sustainably. This group also includes goods used to conserve energy or help prevent or reduce the environmental impacts of natural disasters.

What are Environmental Services?

Environmental Services include, but are not limited to:
  • Site remediation services - Management of a contaminated site, for prevention, minimisation, or mitigation of damage to human health or the environment. Services pertain to remediation of the air, soil, ground and/or surface water (fresh or salt). Remediation options may include, but are not limited to, direct physical actions, such as treatment, removal, or destruction of contaminants, other on-site risk management solutions, such as containment or capping of contaminants or isolation of the site.
  • Control, containment and monitoring services - Management of a contaminated site, in accordance with a remediation plan, involving (1) operation and maintenance of equipment and/or technologies on the site for the purpose of preventing additional, or wider, contamination on the site or the movement of contaminants from the site; (2) monitoring of the site to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site, the effectiveness of any remedial activities, emissions from the site or remedial technologies and the impacts of the contaminants on the environment or human health; and (3) controlling unauthorised access to the site.
  • Environmental emergency response services - Development and/or implementation of rapid response plans and activities to deal with various types of environmental emergencies (e.g. fuel and chemical spills and incidents involving dangerous goods and hazardous materials).
  • Environment management services - Management of waste and wastewater activities, managing natural resources, installing or maintenance of environmental goods such as septic tanks and other pollution control equipment. Provision of training or education aimed at reducing a business's/organisation's environmental footprint.

How do I report income received from the production/provision of Environmental Goods and/or Services?

Businesses/organisations are required to report an aggregate (total) figure of income received from environmental goods and services during the reporting period. In instances where income from environmental goods or services is embedded in other income received, a careful estimate of the Environmental goods/services amount is acceptable. For example, architectural consultants may charge a client for site recommendations which may include recommendations for greener technologies. however this cost may be embedded in the total consultancy fee.
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RELATED ABS PUBLICATIONS

The following ABS publications present related information on energy, water and the environment:
In addition, the following publications present economy-wide industry data:
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

COMMENTS

The ABS welcomes comments and suggestions from users regarding future surveys of energy, water and environment. These comments should be addressed to the Director, Annual Integrated Collections Business Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics, GPO Box 796, Sydney, NSW 2001.

INQUIRIES

For further assistance in completing the Energy, Water and Environment Survey, please contact the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Freecall (excluding mobile phones) 1800 882 362.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

FEEDBACK

We welcome your feedback regarding the Energy, Water and Environment Survey Help Page. If you would like to provide feedback please e-mail australian.industry.statistics@abs.gov.au.

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