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15 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate, derived from a sample of dwellings, and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings in scope of the survey had been included. For more information refer to Data Quality (Technical Note).
16 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count of the population such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include: non-response; errors in reporting by respondents or recording of answers by interviewers; and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort was made to reduce the non-sampling error by: careful design and testing of the questionnaire; training and supervision of interviewers; follow-up of respondents; and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.
17 In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act, 1905, all published estimates are subjected to a confidentiality process before release. This process is undertaken to minimise the risk of identifying particular individuals, families, households or dwellings in aggregate statistics, through analysis of published data.
18 To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.
19 After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals.
20 Where a footnote is not included on an estimated total, it should be assumed that any discrepancy between the total and the sum of its components is due to the effects of rounding or perturbation.
21 Information recorded in this survey is as reported by respondents and hence may differ from that which might be obtained from other sources or via other methodologies. This factor should be considered when interpreting the estimates in this publication.
Comparability of Time Series
22 The previous EUC survey was conducted in March 2011. Links to the 2011 and 2008 surveys are available on the Past & Future Releases tab. Prior to 2008, the annual publication Environmental Issues: People's Views and Practices (cat. no. 4602.0) focussed on one of three rotating topics each year: Water Use and Conservation, Energy Use and Conservation, and Waste Management, Transport and Motor Vehicle Usage.
23 The ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to surveys. Sound survey practice, however, requires ongoing development to maintain and improve the integrity of the data. When comparing data from different cycles of the survey, users are advised to consult the questionnaires (available from the Downloads tab), check whether question wording or sequencing has changed, and consider whether this may have had an impact on the way questions were answered by respondents.
24 The ABS recommends that due to changes in data collection methodology, the following data items are not comparable with equivalent items in the 2011 cycle of the EUC Survey:
Comparability with other ABS surveys
28 Caution should be taken in comparisons across ABS surveys and with administrative by-product data that addresses energy use. Estimates from the EUC survey may differ from those obtained from other surveys (such as the Household Energy Consumption Survey) due to differences in survey mode, methodology and questionnaire design.
29 Geographic areas are classified according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). The EUC 2014 survey is the first survey in this series to use this ASGS structure and as a result comparison between the 2014 and 2011 (and previous) data for 'capital city' and 'balance of state' should be undertaken with caution as the areas are not necessarily comparable across years.
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30 A Data Cube containing all tables in Excel spreadsheet format can be found on the Downloads tab. The spreadsheet presents tables of estimates and proportions, and their corresponding relative standard errors (RSEs).
Customised data requests
31 Special tabulations of the data are available on request. Subject to confidentiality and sampling variability constraints, tabulations can be produced from the survey incorporating data items, populations and geographic areas, tailored to individual requirements. These are provided in electronic form. A list of data items from the 2014 EUC Survey is available from the Downloads tab. All inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
33 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated and 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.
34 The ABS does not plan to conduct this survey in the future.
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