1504.0 - Methodological News, Sep 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2011   
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Exploring methodologies for estimating energy consumption

The Analytical Services Branch is currently working with the ABS Energy Statistics Unit on a project that aims to develop a methodology for estimating the energy consumption of businesses which are not required to report energy consumption under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS).

Australia's national energy statistics (Australian Energy Statistics or AES) was produced annually by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), but recently moved to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE). Before 2010, AES was based on data from the Fuel and Electricity Survey (FES) and other sources. From the 2009-10 reporting year, FES was replaced by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGER) as the main collection instrument.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (the NGER Act) requires all businesses that are a constitutional corporation and meet a reporting threshold for greenhouse gases or energy use or production for a reporting (financial) year to register with the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The reporting threshold for 2009-10 was 350 terajoules (TJ) dropping to 200TJ in 2010-11.

This means the energy consumption of many Australian businesses, across different industry divisions, will not be captured by NGERS data as they will fall under this reporting threshold. This undercoverage is required to be addressed to get a better picture of overall energy consumption.

The ABS has undertaken some initial analyses of the possible level of undercoverage using results compiled from the 2008-09 Energy, Water and Environment Survey (EWES).

The ongoing research in ASB points to several options for estimating the energy consumption gap. The modelling approaches have their theoretical foundation from production economics and applications from empirical estimations of production and cost functions. Data at both unit record and industry level can be considered which will have impacts on the choice of modelling methods.

For further information, please contact Kay Cao on (02) 6252 5264 or kay.cao@abs.gov.au