4671.0 - Household Energy Consumption Survey, User Guide, Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/09/2013  First Issue
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Experienced ABS Interviewers were used to collect HECS data. Most Interviewers had recent experience collecting information from the 2011-12 Survey of Income and Housing (SIH), which shared the same sample as the HECS between January and June 2012. Therefore most Interviewers had previously received comprehensive training for the SIH content (which is also collected in the HECS) and had recent field experience with collecting SIH based information.

All Interviewers were given comprehensive training for both SIH based and HECS specific content, and were provided with detailed written instructions to complement the survey documents.

Information for each household was collected using:

  • a household level computer assisted personal interview questionnaire which collected information on:
    • household characteristics, housing costs, and certain assets and liabilities for all households
    • household energy characteristics* including expenditure (excluding fuels for vehicles), National Metering Identifier, behaviours and perceptions
    • participation consent and details for obtaining longitudinal follow-up information on household energy usage and costs*
  • an individual level computer assisted personal interview questionnaire which collected information on:
    • income, certain assets and liabilities, and personal characteristics from each usual resident aged 15 years and over in all households
    • financial stress* and childcare usage and costs (where applicable) from certain adults in households
    • expenditure on fuels for vehicles made in the last 2 weeks*
  • a self-complete paper form which collected information on household heating and cooling, lighting and appliances*.

* denotes content specifically included in the HECS.

Consent to participate in the longitudinal component was asked of the household spokesperson. If consent was given, the spokesperson was asked for his or her contact details. The details of an alternative contact person aged 18 years or over living in the same household (if available) who could supply energy usage information were also requested.

Approximately three months following the household interview, the spokesperson was posted a username and password which allowed him or her to log in via the Internet and complete a web-based questionnaire on their household's recent energy usage, costs and behaviours.

If the web-based questionnaire was not completed by a specified date, an ABS interviewer telephoned the spokesperson to check they had received their username and password and to encourage them to complete the form. If preferred by the respondent, they could complete a telephone version of the web-based questionnaire over the telephone. For interviews conducted over the telephone, an adapted series of questions was used. A representation of the web-based questionnaire and the adapted questionnaire for telephone interview is available in the "Downloads" tab of this User Guide.


A representation of the computer-assisted interview questionnaire, self-complete paper form and web-based questionnaire used for the longitudinal component can be downloaded as separate .pdf files from the 'Downloads' tab of this User Guide.


A listing of all the data items available from the HECS is presented in an Excel spreadsheet available in the 'Downloads' tab of this User Guide.