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

Environment Indicators Survey - Frequently Asked Questions

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GENERAL INFORMATION
BUSINESS CHANGES
ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE
WATER SOURCES AND EXPENDITURE
WASTE INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
INQUIRIES

GENERAL INFORMATION

HOW ACCURATE DO THE FIGURES NEED TO BE?

The ABS requires information that is as accurate as possible. The data supplied by your business/organisation is used to provide estimates for all the businesses in the industry operating in Australia. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the total estimate will be. However, if for some items accurate data is not readily available, careful estimates will be accepted. Examples of acceptable estimates could be:

1. using your business's/organisation's total income or expenses to estimate income or expense items requested on this survey;
2. using previous bills (e.g. electricity, water) to provide approximates for expenses items; and
3. increase/decrease of income/expense items based on growth/decline of business.

REPORTING OF ALL MONETARY VALUES

Please report all monetary values in thousands of Australian dollars ($A'000). Where the value in this business's/organisation's accounts is not expressed in thousands of dollars, round to the nearest thousand dollars (e.g. actual figure is $798, rounded figure would be $1, representing $1,000).

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BUSINESS CHANGES

Do I still need to complete the form if the business was sold during the 2013-14 financial year?
Do I still need to completed the form if the business was sold before the start of the 2013-14 financial year?
What do I do if the business is still operating but didn't trade during 2013-14 financial year?
Do I still need to complete the form if the business has gone into liquidation/administration during the 2013-14 financial year?
Do I still need to complete the form if the business operated part way through 2013-14 financial year?

Do I still need to complete the form if the business was sold during the 2013-14 financial year?
If the business 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 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 completed the form if the business was sold before the start of the 2013-14 financial year?
If the business was sold prior to the beginning of the 2013-14 financial year, please contact the freecall number on 1800 882 362 (excluding mobile phones). This will enable the ABS to stop sending the business reminder letters to return the form.

What do I do if the business is still operating but didn't trade during 2013-14 financial year?
If the business is still operating, but did not trade during the 2013-14 financial year, please contact the freecall number on 1800 882 362 (excluding mobile phones). This will enable the ABS to stop sending the business reminder letters to return the form.

Do I still need to complete the form if the business has gone into liquidation/administration during the 2013-14 financial year?
If the business 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 form. Where this is not possible, best available estimates of the data should be provided. Where estimates are not possible, please contact the freecall number on 1800 882 362 (excluding mobile phones) for further assistance.

Do I still need to complete the form if the business operated part way through 2013-14 financial year?
If the selected entity (e.g. ABN) operated part way through the 2013-14 financial year, then the form should be completed using figures the day that the business started its operation.
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ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE

Do I report electricity/natural gas expenditure and consumption if they are paid by other business/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 Environment Indicated Survey reporting period?
As an electricity generator do I report natural gas and other fuels consumed in the generation of electricity?
What is the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme (FTCS)?
Fuel definitions
Energy conversion factors

Do I report electricity/natural gas expenditure and consumption if they are paid for by other businesses 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. You should indicate that you have this type of leasing agreement at Part 4 - Lessee/lessor agreements.

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 or from other businesses, where no corresponding financial transaction has taken place.

What if the billing period for purchased electricity or natural gas falls outside of the Environment Indicators 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 2013-14 reporting period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in the Comments section at the end of the Environment Indicators Survey.

As an electricity generator do I report natural gas and other fuels consumed in the generation of electricity?
Yes, all fuels used in the generation of electricity should be reported.

What is the Fuel Tax Credits Scheme (FTCS)?
The Fuel Tax Credits Scheme (FTCS) provides credits for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) included in the price of fuel for use for your business activities. Do not deduct these amounts from your expenditure.

Fuel definitions
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.

  • 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.
    • Ethanol blend - also known as E10. A blend of 10% ethanol fuel and 90% regular unleaded petrol.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Coal, coke and coal by-products - Examples include:
    • 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.
  • Other fuel types - Please report for the consumption of and expenditure on all other fuel types in Other fuel types - Question 5(f). Examples include:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Renewable fuels - Combustible fuels derived from biological resources, including liquid biofuel, biogas, wood/wood waste 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.
      • 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).
      • Bagasse - A residue of the sugar cane milling process which can be used as a fuel.

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)
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WATER SOURCES AND EXPENDITURE

Do I include administrative charges such as service or access fees in payments for water received?
Do I include recycled (reuse) water purchases in payments for water purchased?
What if my business/organisation has expenses relating to on site water and sewerage facilities?
Do I report water expenditure and consumption if they are paid for by other businesses/organisations through a rent or lease agreement?
What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Environment Indicators Survey reporting period?
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 my business/organisation is unable to provide self-sourced water volumes as they are not measured or metered?
What if my business/organisation recycles water on-site?
Water conversion factors

Do I include administrative charges such as service or access fees in payments for water received?
Yes, administrative charges for water received from a water supplier, like service or access fees, should be included in Expenses on water supplied by water authorities, or other businesses (Q6).

Do I included recycled (reuse) water purchases in payments for water purchased?
Yes, any recycled (reuse) water purchases should be included in Water purchased (Q6(a)).

What if my business has expenses relating to on-site water and sewerage facilities?
Only report expenses for water purchased from or sewerage services supplied by water authorities or other businesses. Any expenses relating to own on-site water or sewerage facilities should be excluded form Expenses on water supplied by water authorities or other businesses (Q6).

Do I report water expenditure and consumption if they are paid for by other businesses through a rent or lease agreement?
Do not report water expenditure and consumption for offices/locations under leasing agreements where the water bills are paid by the lessor. You should indicate that you have this type of leasing agreement at Part 4 - Lessee/lessor agreements.

What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the Environment Indicators 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 2013-14 reporting period. You can notify the ABS that you have used this method in the Comments section at the end of the Environment Indicators Survey.

What if my business is unable to provide volumes of potable/mains/raw and/or recycled (reuse) water received from a water supplier in Question 7?
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. If accurate data is not readily available, please provide a careful estimates of the volumes purchased during the reporting period.

For offices/locations of your business 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 and indicate that you have this type of leasing agreement at Part 4 - Lessee/lessor agreements.

How do I report self-sourced water volumes in Question 8?
You should report only the total volume of water actually extracted, not the amount that your business may have been entitled to extract.

What if my business is unable to provide self-sourced water volumes in Question 8 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.

What if my business/organisation recycles water on-site?
Only recycled water purchased from a water supplier should be reported in Question 7. On-site recycled water (i.e. water that has been used on-site after it had previously been used on-site) should be excluded.

Water conversion factors
1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
1 gigalitre (GL) = 1,000 megalitres (ML)
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INQUIRIES
For further assistance in completing the Environment Indicators 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. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.
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