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   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



The issue of climate change and its impact for Australia and Australian industry is a key national priority. This ABS release produces estimates of energy use, electricity generation and environmental management practices of Australian business for the period 2011-12.

Please note 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 (please see Explanatory Notes).

This commentary features business size, the following definitions apply:

  • large businesses, with employment of 200 or more persons
  • medium businesses, with employment of 20 to less than 200 persons
  • small businesses, with employment of less than 20 persons.


Summary of Energy Expenditure

During 2011-12, total expenditure of Selected industries on the sum of all non-renewables fuels collected by the survey was $88.2b, of which large businesses accounted for 66.8% (or $58.9b) of this expenditure.

The Manufacturing industry accounted for 44.5% (or $39.2b) of this total expenditure on non-renewable fuels, of which approximately two thirds (or $26.5b) consisted of other non-renewable fuels (excluding fuels such as diesel, LPG, petrol, coal, coke and coal by-products). Electricity and natural gas accounted for a further $5.5b and $3.2b of Manufacturing energy expenditure respectively.

The Transport industry was the second largest contributor to total expenditure on non-renewable fuels, accounting for 12.7% (or $11.2b) of total energy expenditure, of which diesel made up 59.3% (or $6.6b).

Electricity Expenditure

During 2011-12, business expenditure on electricity totalled $20.2b (which equated to 154,439 GWh of electricity generated), of which large businesses accounted for 52.6% (or $10.6b) and 66.7% (or 102,973GWh) of the electricity used by all businesses in Selected industries. In contrast, small businesses accounted for 30.5% (or $6.2b) of expenditure and 19.5% (or 30,051GWh) of total electricity consumption.

In 2011-12, the Manufacturing industry was the largest user of electricity and accounted for the largest share of the expenditure, with 43.6% (or 67,400 GWh) of electricity consumption and 27.3% (or $5.5b) of total electricity expenditure.

Natural Gas Expenditure

During 2011-12, natural gas purchases by businesses totalled $6.3b (which equated to 756 PJ) for Selected industries. Large businesses accounted for 77.6% (or $4.9b) of total purchases of natural gas and 75.3% (or 569PJ) of total consumption.

The industry with the largest expenditure on natural gas was Manufacturing, which accounted for 51.3% (or $3.2b) of total expenditure and 41.1% (or 311 PJ) of total consumption. However, the largest consumer of natural gas was the Electricity, gas and waste services industry, which accounted for 43.7% (or 330 PJ) of total consumption.


In 2011-12, Australian businesses generated 255,319 GWh of electricity, of which Electricity, gas and waste services accounted for 91.9% (or 234,588 GWh). The Manufacturing and Mining industries accounted for a further 4.0% (or 10,304 GWh) and 3.7% (or 9,344 GWh) of total electricity generation respectively.

Non-renewable fuels were the main input used to generate electricity, producing 230,780 GWh (or 90.4%), of which coal and coal by-products accounted for 65.3% (or 166,625 GWh) and natural gas 22.8% (58,262 GWh).

Renewable resources accounted for the remaining 9.6% of electricity generated (24,539 GWh).


For information regarding Environmental and energy management please refer to I-Note attached to the Environmental and Energy Management data cube, which is to be released in August 2013.