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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1 This publication presents estimates of energy consumption, electricity generation and environmental management practices by Australian businesses in 2011-12. The estimates were compiled from directly collected data from the Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

2 Further data on energy usage will be published in Energy Account, Australia, 2011-12 (cat. no. 4604.0) in late 2013.

Reference period

3 The period covered by the collection was, in general, the twelve months ended 30 June 2012. Where businesses were unable to supply information on this basis, an alternate accounting period for which data could be provided was used. Such off-June reporters contribute to the estimates presented in this publication and may reflect trading conditions that prevailed in periods outside the twelve months ended 30 June 2012.

4 Financial and usage estimates relate to the full twelve months of the businesses' accounting period for the 2011-12 reference year.

5 The data incorporate all units in scope of the Energy, Water and Environment Survey that operated at any time during the 2011-12 reference year. The data also include any temporarily inactive units, i.e. those units which were in the developmental stage or not in operation during the year, but which still existed and held or acquired assets and liabilities and/or incurred some non-operating expenses (e.g. depreciation, administration costs).


6 The businesses that contribute to the statistics in this publication are classified:


7 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).

8 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.

9 There is a difference in the scope of the environmental management estimates. For further details please see the I-Note accompanying the Environmental and Energy Use Management data cube which is expected to be released in August 2013.

10 Note that government-owned or controlled Public Trading Enterprises are included.


11 This section discusses frame, statistical units, coverage issues and improvements to coverage.


12 Businesses contributing to the estimates in this publication were sourced from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR), which has two components, as described below.

Statistical units

13 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses and the structural relationships between related businesses. Within large and diverse business groups, the units model is used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

14 In mid 2002, the ABS commenced sourcing its register information from the Australian Business Register (ABR) and at that time changed its business register to a two population model. The two populations comprise what is called the Profiled Population and the Non-Profiled Population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure and the degree of intervention required to reflect the business structure for statistical purposes.

Non-Profiled population

15 The majority of businesses included on the ABS Business Register are in the Non-Profiled Population. Most of these businesses are understood to have simple structures. For these businesses, the ABS is able to use the Australian Business Number (ABN) as the basis for a statistical unit. One ABN equates to one statistical unit.

Profiled population

16 For a small number of businesses the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS economic statistics purposes and the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with businesses. These businesses constitute the Profiled Population. This population consists typically of large or complex groups of businesses. The statistical units model below caters for such businesses:
  • Enterprise group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.
  • Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising:
      • a single legal entity or business entity, or
      • more than one legal entity or business entity within the same enterprise group and in the same institutional subsector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) subsector).
  • Type of activity unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an enterprise group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items is available, a TAU is created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU is classified to the relevant subdivision of the ANZSIC). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU is formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.

Coverage issues

17 The ANZSIC-based industry statistics presented in this publication are compiled differently from activity statistics. Each ABN unit or TAU on the ABSBR has been classified (by the ATO and the ABS respectively) to its single predominant industry class, irrespective of any diversity of activities undertaken.

18 Some businesses engage, to a significant extent, in activities which are normally classified to different industries within ANZSIC. For example, a predominantly mining business may also undertake significant amounts of manufacturing. Similarly, a mining business may produce significant volumes of goods which are normally produced by businesses classified to different mining industries. Where a business makes a significant economic contribution to industries classified to different ANZSIC subdivisions, the ABS includes the business in the Profiled Population, and 'splits' the TAU's reported data between the industries involved. Significance is determined using total income.

19 A TAU's reported data are split where the activity of its primary and secondary industries distorts (by overstating or understating) the estimates of either industry at the ANZSIC subdivision level by:
  • 3% or more, where the industries of the primary and secondary activities are in the same ANZSIC division
  • 2% or more, where the industries of the primary and secondary activities are in different ANZSIC divisions.

20 The ABS attempts to maintain a current understanding of the structure of the large, complex and diverse business groups that form the Profiled Population on the ABSBR, through direct contact with those businesses. Resultant changes in their structures on the ABSBR can affect:
  • the availability of such businesses (or units within them) for inclusion in the annual economic collections
  • the delineation of the units, within those groups, for which data are to be reported.

21 The ABS attempts to obtain data for those businesses selected for direct collection and which ceased operation during the year, but it is not possible to obtain data for all such businesses.

Improvements to coverage

22 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABSBR, and for the omission of some businesses from the register. The majority of businesses affected, and to which the adjustments apply, are small in size.

23 Adjustments have been made to include new businesses in the estimates for the period in which they commenced operations, rather than when they were processed to the ABSBR. Adjustments of this type will continue to be applied in future periods.

24 For more information on these adjustments please refer to the ABS publication Information Paper: Improvements to ABS Economic Statistics, 1997 (cat. no. 1357.0).


Renewable energy

25 Energy derived from sources which are practically infinite or which can be naturally replenished. Renewable sources include sunlight (solar energy), hydroenergy, wind power and biological matter.

Non-renewable energy

26 Energy derived from sources which cannot be replaced once used. Non-renewable energy sources include fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil.

27 See the Glossary for more definitions of terms.


28 In order to minimise the load placed on providers, the strategy for this survey was to use, as much as possible, information sourced from the ATO, thus reducing the size of the direct collect sample needed to maintain the range and quality of information available to users of statistical data. The frame (from which the direct collect sample was selected) was stratified using information held on the ABSBR. Businesses eligible for selection in the direct collect sample were then selected from the frame using stratified random sampling techniques.

29 Businesses were eligible for selection in the survey (the direct collect sample) if they were identified as being employing businesses (based on ATO information) as at the end of the reference period. Selected businesses were asked to provide data mainly by mail out questionnaire. A sample of 21,487 businesses was selected for the directly collected part of the 2011-12 Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES).

30 Micro non-employing units (MNEUs) are businesses which neither employed people nor exceeded a threshold level of turnover in the reference year. With few exceptions (see scope) these businesses were not eligible for selection in the survey.

31 Aggregate estimates are calculated from all data using the 'number raised' estimation technique.

Effects of rounding

32 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.


Comparison with other ABS statistics

33 In some cases estimates in this publication may differ slightly from those from other ABS sources. These differences may be the result of sampling or non-sampling error, or of differences in scope, coverage, definitions or methodology.

34 This release was designed to measure a point in time and does not support accurate estimates of change, therefore extreme caution should be exercised when comparing 2011-12 results to those published in 2008-09. There are a number of reasons that make comparisons misleading such as, changes to the scope, form design and methodology of collection.


35 A range of further information is available, as listed below.

Related publications

36 The following ABS publications present information on energy, water and the environment:
37 In addition, the following publications present economy-wide industry data:

Other information available

38 More detailed estimates than those included in this publication are available free of charge online from the Statistics view on the ABS web site <www.abs.gov.au >. Select Statistics / By Catalogue Number / 46 Environment / 4660.0 Energy Use, Electricity Generation and Environmental Management, Australia 2011-12, then select the Downloads tab.

39 Data cubes presenting the Environmental and Energy Management estimates, are expected to be released in August 2013.

40 The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.

41 Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or email <australian.industry.statistics@abs.gov.au>.


42 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; 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.

Use of Australian Taxation Office (ATO) data in this publication

43 The results of these studies are based, in part, on tax data supplied by the ATO to the ABS under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, which requires that such data be used only for statistical purposes. No individual information collected by the ABS under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided to the ATO for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the core operational requirements of the ATO.

44 Legislative requirements to ensure privacy of data have been strictly followed. Only persons authorised under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 have been permitted to view data about any particular organisation and/or person in conducting these analyses. No information about individual taxpayers (persons) has been released to the ABS. Aggregated personal income tax data are confidentialised by the ATO before release to the ABS. In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, results have been confidentialised by the ABS to ensure that they prevent identification of a particular person, business or organisation.