4660.0 - Energy Use and Electricity Generation, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/07/2019   
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Quality declaration

Institutional environment

The statistics presented in this release were compiled from directly collected data from 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.

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 by a subset of Australian industries during 2017-18, for use in the compilation of environmental accounts.

The information provided in this release will also be used by government departments, policy makers and analysts in both the public and private sectors to formulate and evaluate policy.

The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this release are classified by:

  • state and territory; and
  • business size.

The scope of the collection included all businesses operating in the Australian economy during 2017-18, classified to ANZSIC Divisions:
  • B Mining
  • C Manufacturing
  • D Electricity, gas, water and waste services
  • E Construction
  • I Transport, postal and warehousing

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

Micro non-employing units were excluded from the collection.

Although the period covered by the estimates was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June 2018, some businesses were unable to supply information on this basis. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended 30 June 2018.


The EWES collection is conducted on a triennial basis with estimates generally available within twelve months of the reference period to which they relate. For the 2017-18 reference period, questionnaires were despatched by the ABS in September 2018. The estimates are scheduled for release in July 2019, 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 direct collect sample of approximately 10,000 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 and Electricity Generation, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4660.0) publication.

Non-sampling error also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all businesses selected in the survey. For the 2017-18 EWES, there was an 82.9% response rate from all businesses surveyed and found to be operating during the reference period. Data were imputed for the remaining surveyed businesses (17.1%). This imputation contributed 6.3% to the total purchases of energy and fuels for all selected industries.


Estimates on energy use and electricity generation have been produced since 2008-09 from the Energy, Water and Environment Survey. Given each iteration of the survey has a number of differences, such as changes to the scope, data source, form design and methodology, caution should be exercised when comparing estimates over time.

For further information about revisions and changes between 2014-15 and 2017-18 EWES estimates, please refer to Changes since 2014-15 in this release.

In some cases estimates in this release may differ from those collected from other sources. These differences may be the result of sampling or non-sampling error, or may result from differences in scope, coverage, definitions, data source or methodology .


Estimates from this release 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 Energy Use and Electricity Generation, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4660.0) release, which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a technical note on Data quality, a technical note on Estimation methodology and a Glossary.


Estimates from the EWES for 2017-18 are available free of charge on the ABS website in the Energy Use and Electricity Generation, Australia, 2017-18 (cat. no. 4660.0) release.