4604.0 - Energy Account, Australia, 2010-11 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2012   
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18 December 2012
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Energy use growing, Australian economy still growing faster

Australian business continues to increase their energy use, but at a slower rate than economic growth, according to Energy Account, Australia released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today. However, in comparison to past years, the 'energy intensity' decrease of the Australian economy slowed in 2010-11.

Energy intensity measures how much energy is used to produce a unit of economic output. In 2010-11 energy use by Australian industries increased by two per cent while the Australian economy grew by 2.4 per cent. The energy intensity of Australian economic activity therefore dropped, but by just 0.1 per cent, compared to 0.4 per cent in 2009-10 and a one per cent average annual decrease since 2002-03.

Decreasing energy intensity is a long term trend in Australia, due to factors such as structural economic change and improved energy efficiency. However, in 2009-10 and 2010-11, slower growth in the commercial and services parts of the economy, and increasing mining industry energy intensity, caused this trend to stall.

The main fuels used by businesses were natural gas (27 per cent), diesel (22 per cent) and electricity (22 per cent). The manufacturing industry still uses the most energy (26 per cent of Australian energy use), but mining energy use is growing rapidly, increasing seven per cent in 2010-11 and using 14 per cent of all energy consumed domestically.

A similar pattern of declining per capita energy use can be seen in energy use at home. Australian households used 0.8 per cent more energy in 2010-11, while annual population growth was 1.4 per cent, meaning per capita residential energy use declined. The main fuels used at home are petrol (45 per cent), electricity (22 per cent) and natural gas (14 per cent).

Notes: Energy intensity is measured by the ABS in gigajoules per millions of dollars Industry Gross Value Added (GJ/$m IGVA).

Media notes:
  • The media release as published with Energy Account, Australia on 11/12/12 contained a typographical error. An extraneous word was inadvertently inserted between two sentences in the fifth paragraph. This has now been deleted.
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.