4660.0 - Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2013   
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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.

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The data in this release was collected using the Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES). The main purpose of the collection was to measure Australian businesses' energy and water expenditure and usage, and environmental management practices during 2011-12, for use in the compilation of environmental accounts.

This release is divided into three distinct sections which include Energy usage, Electricity generation and Environmental management. The information collected will also be used by policy makers and analysts in both the public and private sectors to formulate and evaluate policy in such areas as:

climate change (e.g. energy efficiency, renewable energy and the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme)
sustainable energy supply and use, and
innovation in Australian industry

Businesses were classified:
by institutional sector, in accordance with the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA), which is detailed in Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) ( cat. no. 1218.0)
by industry, in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 edition ( cat. no. 1292.0)
by business size.

The scope of the Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management publication comprises all Australian based activities of business entities with a non-cancelled Australian Business Number (ABN) and an active Income Tax Withholding (ITW) or Goods and Services Tax (GST) role, excluding those businesses classified to:

    Agriculture (ANZSIC Subdivision 01);

    Finance (ANZSIC Subdivision 62);

    Insurance and superannuation funds (ANZSIC Subdivision 63);

    Private households employing staff (ANZSIC Subdivision 96);

    Financial units (SISCA 2110, 2121, 2129, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2141, 2142, 2191, 2199, 2301, 2309).

    Micro Non-Employing Units (MNEUs), except those businesses classified to the following ANZSIC subdivisions (which are therefore in scope):

        Building construction (ANZSIC Subdivision 30);

        Heavy and civil engineering Construction (ANZSIC Subdivision 31);

        Construction services (ANZSIC Subdivision 32);

        Road transport (ANZSIC Subdivision 46);

        Postal and courier pick-up and delivery services (ANZSIC Subdivision 51);

        Property operators and real estate services (ANZSIC Subdivision 67).

This differs from the scope for Energy, Water and Environment Management, 2008-09 (cat no. 4660.0) by the inclusion of:

    Water supply, sewerage and drainage services (ANZSIC Subdivision 28);

    Public administration (ANZSIC Subdivision 75);

    Defence (ANZSIC Subdivision 76);

    General government (SISCA 3000); and

    MNEUs from selected industries.

Government-owned or controlled Public Trading Enterprises are included.

Note that there is a difference in the scope of the Environmental Management part of the form (which is for released in August 2013). For further details please see the i-note for Environmental Management under Scope.

Although the period covered by the estimates was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June, some businesses were unable to supply information on this basis. Businesses with off-June reporting periods made a substantial contribution to some of the estimates, for example, the Mining division and Petroleum and coal product manufacturing subdivision of ANZSIC. As a result, the estimates can reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended 30 June 2012.


The collection is conducted on an irregular basis with estimates generally available within twelve months of the reference period to which they relate. For the 2011-12 reference period, questionnaires were despatched by ABS in September 2012. The estimates are scheduled for release in July 2013, 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 sample of 21,487 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 Notes of Energy use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4660.0) publication.

Non-sampling error also occurs when information cannot be obtained from all businesses selected in the survey. For the 2011-12 Survey of Energy, Water and Environment (EWES), there was an 82.6% response rate from all businesses that were surveyed and found to be operating during the reference period. Data were imputed for the remaining 17.4% of operating businesses. This imputation contributed 7.4% to the total purchases of energy and fuels for all selected industries.


The Energy, water and environment survey 2011-12 (EWES) was used to compile the estimates in the Energy use, electricity generation and environmental management, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4660.0) publication. This is the second time that the survey was conducted, however it should be noted that although similar estimates were published in Energy, Water and Environment Management, 2008-09 (cat no. 4660.0), there are differences between the two publications which make comparison difficult and caution is advised.

The energy consumption figures presented in this publication may not be directly comparable with energy consumption statistics appearing in other ABS publications, for the following reasons:

the electricity and natural gas consumption figures presented in this publication represent the cost and quantity of electricity and natural gas purchased by businesses for their own consumption. These figures do not reflect energy consumed, which is not directly purchased by the business (as described in the following);

for other fuel types, the energy consumption figures presented represent the cost and quantity of energy used by businesses. These figures may exclude the value and quantity of energy produced and consumed in the intermediate steps of a business’s production process. For example, when a business purchases black coal to produce coke, and then uses the coke to produce another product, the value and quantity of the intermediate fuel product (coke) may not be reflected in the energy consumption figures for that particular business.

Amounts of electricity and natural gas purchased may not equal total amounts used. Electricity and natural gas purchased may include electricity and natural gas consumed by another business through a rent or leasing arrangement. It excludes electricity and natural gas consumed but not paid for by the business (eg invoiced to another business through a rent or leasing arrangement, or self-generated/self-sourced and not purchased from a provider).

The business counts presented in this publication may not be comparable with those appearing in other ABS publications. Estimates of the number of businesses operating in Australia can be derived from a number of sources within the ABS. They may relate to a particular point in time or may be presented as an average annual figure. However these estimates will not always show the same results. Variations will occur because of differing data sources, differing scope and coverage definitions between surveys, as well as variations due to sampling and non-sampling error. More information about business counts can be found in the ABS information paper: A Statistical View of Counts of Businesses in Australia, June 2005 (cat. no. 8162.0).

The Energy, Water and Environment Survey was not designed to provide high quality estimates of numbers of businesses, which consumed and incurred expenses for various fuels surveyed. The number of businesses in the Energy use, electricity generation and environmental management publication (cat no. 4660.0) are only included to provide contextual information for the user. (See Glossary for a more detailed explanation of no. of businesses in the context of this publication).

A source of actual counts of Australian businesses is available from Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2008 to Jun 2012 (cat. no. 8165.0), which was released in May 2013.


Estimates from this publication are available as original series only, and are not seasonally or trend adjusted.

Although financial and usage estimates relate to the full twelve months, business counts relate to those businesses operating at the end of June 2012.

Further information about terminology and other technical aspects associated with these statistics can be found in the publication Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4660.0), which contains detailed Explanatory Notes, a Technical Note and a Glossary.


Data from the Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management Survey for 2011-12 (cat no. 4660.0) are available in a variety of formats. The formats available free of charge on the ABS website are:
an e-magazine with main features, which include key findings commentaries
data cubes which contain all published tables

If the information you require is not available as a standard product, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.