Survey Participant Information - Environment Indicators Survey - Survey Frequently Asked Questions
 

ENVIRONMENT INDICATORS SURVEY - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Questions about Web based forms (Eforms)
General information
Energy consumption and expenditure
Water expenditure
Water sources and usage
Water supply and discharge
Definitions

QUESTIONS ABOUT WEB BASED FORMS (EFORMS)

Note: A PDF of the form is contained within the e-form for reference purposes. This is not the official paper version of the form, and should not be printed off and returned to the ABS as a replacement to completing the web form.

      Can I request a paper form?
      It is preferable that you complete the web based form. Please call the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the Contact Us page.

      How do I login to ABS Online Survey?
      To login to ABS Online Survey, you will need a User/Unit Identifier and a Password. The User/Unit Identifier and the Password can be found in the letter sent to you by the ABS. ABS Online Survey is designed to work successfully with the most common Internet browsers, proving they support 128-bit TLS/SSL encryption. If your web browser does not support 128-bit TLS/SSL encryption you will not be able to complete the form online.

      If you have only received a reminder letter and did not receive a letter with login details, please call the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the Contact Us page.

      I'm receiving a login error message, what can I do?
      This message is usually caused by typing an incorrect User/Unit Identifier and/or Password when logging in to the form. If you continue to receive an error message, please call the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the Contact Us page.

      Can I save the web form as a draft?
      Yes, there is functionality to save the web form when partially completed so you can return to it later. To do this simply click the 'Print, Save and Exit' link at the top of the form. This will save the form and exit you from the system.

      Please be aware that for security reasons, if there is inactivity on your computer for 30 minutes the web form will time out. You will need to login again to continue using ABS Online Survey. Your information will be saved and should be available again upon login.

      When will the form be saved if I don't select 'Print, Save and Exit' link?
      ABS Online Survey is designed to save your data when you click the 'Print, Save and Exit' link, when your session times out, or when you click the final 'Submit' link.

      I have accidentally submitted the form prior to completion
      Please call the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the Contact Us page.

      How do I submit the web form?
      To submit your completed form to the ABS, click the Submit button at the end of the form. Remember that once you submit the form, you will no longer be able to view or update it.

      Can I keep a copy of data submitted?
      Yes, the ABS highly recommends that you keep a copy of the completed form for your own personal records. To print a copy of the form, click the Print button on the receipt page.

      GENERAL INFORMATION

      Period covered by the data reported on the form. What do I do if my accounts are not ready for the 2015-16 financial year?
      Please provide a careful estimate for each question for the business or provide estimates based on a percentage (proportion) growth or decrease on last year's figures and enter these updated figures onto the form. If figures from a previous financial year are used as a basis for estimation for the survey year, DO NOT enter the previous year's dates in the 'From' and 'To' boxes, but instead tick the box or enter dates for a financial year within the range specified for this survey. In the comments box at the back of the form, please advise if estimates were used and detail as much information as possible about the data reported.

      Please describe the activity from which this business/organisation derives its main income
      Please give a detailed description of the activity of the business. Note that the list of examples provided at this question are not exhaustive.


      ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE

      Energy 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 kilolitres (kL)
          1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000,000 litres (L)

          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)


      Consumption of and expenditure on electricity received from an electricity provider

      Our electricity expenses are paid by our lessor (landlord) as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions.
      Electricity paid for by the lessor (landlord) as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions. Electricity expenses covered as part of a lease arrangement should be reported as electricity consumption paid for by another business/organisation.

      When I look at the electricity/gas bill it includes administrative charges, should these be included or do I have to separate out the usage fees only?
      All administrative charges including supply charges, fixed price and usage fees, maintenance etc. should be included.

      What if the billing period for purchased electricity falls outside of the EIS reporting period?
      Report for consumption and expenditure based on the closest equivalent 12 month period. In the comments box at the back of the form, please advise if estimates were used for certain questions and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided on the form.


      Consumption of and expenditure on natural gas received from a natural gas provider

      Our natural gas expenses are paid by our lessor (landlord) as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions.
      Natural gas paid for by the lessor (landlord) as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions.

      When I look at the gas bill it includes administrative charges, should these be included or do I have to separate out the usage fees only?
      All administrative charges including supply charges, fixed price and usage fees, maintenance etc. should be included.


      Consumption of and expenditure on other fuels used during the reporting period

      Only fuels which have been consumed to produce energy, i.e. used in a combustive manner should be reported. Do not include fuels that have not been combusted.

      I am unable to source both volume and expenditure splits of all fuels types consumed
      Careful estimates are acceptable. In the comments box at the back of the form, please advise if estimates were used for certain questions and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided on the form.

      What is meant by energy/fuels supplied on a non-monetary basis?
      This includes the use of energy products sourced from other related business units (subsidiaries) within a business/organisation or from other businesses/organisations, where no corresponding financial transaction has taken place. If this is relevant to your business, information can be reported in the comments section to inform ABS about the data provided on the form.

      WATER EXPENDITURE

      Expenditure on water supplied and wastewater services

      Our water expenses are paid by our lessor (landlord) as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions.
      Water paid for by the lessor (landlord) as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions. Water expenses covered as part of a lease arrangement should be reported as water consumption paid for by another business/organisation.

      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 and/or like supply, service or access fees should be included in payments for water purchased.

      Do I include recycled water purchases in payments for water purchased?
      Any recycled water purchases expenses should be included in payments for water purchased.

      What if my business/organisation has expenses relating to on-site water and sewerage facilities?
      Only report expenses for water purchased from water authorities or other businesses/organisations. Self-sourced water expenses should not be included. Only report expenses for sewerage services which are supplied by water authorities or other businesses/organisations. Expenditure from own on-site sewerage facilities should not be included.

      What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the 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 2015-16 reporting period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in the comments section of the survey form.

      WATER SOURCES AND USAGE

          Water conversion factors

          1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
          1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
          1 gigalitre (GL) = 1,000 megalitres (ML)


      Volume and source of water purchased from water suppliers

      What if my business/organisation is unable to provide volumes of potable/mains and/or recycled water received from a water supplier?
      Volumes and expenditure on water received from a water supplier can be found with your water billing information. Your accounts area should be able to determine the volumes and expenditure for water received for the survey period from this billing information. If exact breakdowns by type of water purchased are not readily available then careful estimates are acceptable. In the comments box at the back of the form, you should advise if estimates were used for certain questions and detail as much information as possible about the data provided. 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 my business/organisation recycles water on-site?
      Water recycled on-site is out of scope for this survey. Only recycled water purchased from a water supplier should be reported.


      Volume and source of self-sourced water

      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 volume of self-sourced water extracted during the reporting period. The capacity of the business's/organisation's water storage/extraction facilities or the volume of extract entitlement is not a suitable measure for estimated usage and should not be reported.

      WATER SUPPLY AND DISCHARGE

      Volume of water supplied and discharged

      We don't measure or meter the water that we discharge to the environment (off-site)
      If volumes are not maintained then careful estimates are acceptable. For multiple sites the estimate can be extrapolated based a site with similar activities


      DEFINITIONS

      Aviation fuel
      - Kerosene and gasoline type fuels designed to meet specifications used in aviation turbine power units.

      Bagasse - A residue of the sugar cane milling process which can be used as a fuel.

      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 steel making.

      Brown coal - Also known as lignite, is a low rank, brownish-black coal with a high moisture content of around 60%.

      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. It is used almost exclusively as a fuel for steam-electric power generation.

      Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - Made by compressing purified natural gas, used mainly in transportation.

      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). Also includes blast furnace gas from iron and steel processing.

      Coke - A material derived from heating coal in the absence of air. Used mainly as a fuel and reducing agent in smelting iron ore. Derived from the destructive distillation of low-ash, low sulphur bituminous black coal

      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.

      Desalination - This is the process where salt is removed from water with a high salt content (usually seawater but sometimes other brackish water) to make it suitable for use (usually for consumption, but sometimes for industrial purposes).

      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.

      Energy consumption and expenditure - Electricity, natural gas or other fuels consumed or invoiced to this business.

      Environmental flows - Water delivered (released) for environmental processes in accordance with a specific water plan prepared in conjunction with and/or approved by the appropriate environmental (resource) regulator.

      Fuel oil - The heavy distillates from oil refining, used as a fuel for burning in furnaces or boilers, ships and locomotives.

      Ground water - Water that collects beneath the substrate or soil surface (or below the grounds surface).

      Liquid biofuel unblended - Produced from renewable organic sources or 'feedstocks'. Biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel, and are commonly used as a fuel in transportation.

      Liquified 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..

      Mains Water - First use water purchased from water suppliers via mains supply or transported/trucked in by other businesses.

      Mine dewatering - The process used to remove excess run-off and groundwater seepage into mines.

      National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme (NGER) - The scheme is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (Commonwealth regulatory body) which is empowered under the NGER Act 2007 to collect aggregated annual energy consumption data from designated energy intensive businesses in Australia.

      Natural Gas - A combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. Formed primarily of methane however, its composition can vary widely, commonly including ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Includes liquified natural gas (LNG).

      Non-potable water - Any water not safe to drink but could be use for irrigation, cooling towers, toilet flushing and related uses.

      Other fuel types - Heating oil, industrial materials and tyres from fossils if recycled and combusted to produce heat and energy, kerosene (other than for use as fuel in an aircraft), liquified aromatic hydrocarbons, naphtha, non-biomass municipal materials if recycled and combusted to produce heat or electricity and other energy commodities.

      Petrol (including E10) - 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 and Ethanol blend - also known as E10. A blend of 10% ethanol fuel and 90% regular unleaded petrol

      Potable water - Any treated water that is safe for human consumption

      Produced formation water - The naturally occurring water that exists within oil and gas reserves.

      Recycled water - Drainage, wastewater (including sewage) or stormwater that has been used again without first being discharged to the environment. It may have been treated to some extent and excludes potable.

      Refinery fuels - Fuel oil, refinery coke, and fuel gas as combusted or consumed by refineries.

      Renewable fuels - These are combustible fuels derived from biological resources, including liquid biofuel, biogas, wood and bagasse.

      Self Sourced water - Water extracted for use directly from rivers, lakes, groundwater, seawater and other bodies of water.

      Sewerage - Infrastructure used to remove sewage (wastewater).

      Stormwater - Rainfall which is collected as run-off.

      Surface water - Water flowing or held in streams, rivers and other wetlands in the landscape.

      Wastewater - Any water that has been used once and cannot be used again without treatment, e.g. untreated effluent, sewerage water and trade waste.

      Wastewater services - The removal, treatment and disposal of wastewater that is discharged into a sewerage or stormwater drainage system.

      Water expenditure - Costs associated with water supply and wastewater services. Includes mains water, irrigation water, recycled water, purchases of bulk water, sewerage and drainage services.

      Water sources and usage - Water used from sources including potable and mains water, self sourced water and recycled water from a water supplier.

      Water Supplier - A business or organisation that provides a reticulated water supply (including desalinated water), irrigation water, recycled water and/or bulk water supply service. Water suppliers may be government or private and often operate water storage, purification and supply services. They may also provide sewerage or drainage services.

      Water supply and discharge - Reticulated water supply (including desalinated water), irrigation water, recycled water and/or bulk water supply service to households and/or businesses. Discharge of water into surface water, ground water, or to the sea, includes environmental flows, mine de-watering and produced formation water.

      Wood and wood waste - Includes wood and wood waste used to produce energy, usually through burning.
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