Energy, Water and Environment Survey - Frequently asked questions

General information
Electricity generation
Energy consumption and expenditure
Water consumption and expenditure
Self-sourced water
Water usage
Water supply and discharge
Definitions


GENERAL INFORMATION

I run my business/organisation from home; what data should I provide?
For home-based businesses/organisations, please report estimates related to the business/organisation only, for example expenditure reported by the business/organisation for taxation purposes.

What do I do if my accounts are not ready for the 2017-18 financial year?
Please provide a careful estimate for each question for the business/organisation. OR
Provide estimates based on a percentage (proportion) increase or decrease on last year's figures and enter these updated figures into the form. If figures from a previous financial year are used as a basis for estimation for the survey year, DO NOT enter the previous year's dates in the 'From' and 'To' boxes, instead tick the box or enter dates for a financial period within the range specified for this survey.
In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and detail as much information as possible about the data reported.

What information should I provide against the "Please describe the activity from which this business/organisation derives its main income" question?
Please give a detailed description of the activity of the business/organisation. Note that the list of examples provided at this question is not exhaustive.


ELECTRICITY GENERATION

I already provide energy related data to government under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007; why do I need to provide energy related data to the ABS too?
The NGER concept of ‘operational control’ does not meet all ABS requirements for data necessary to compile estimates comparable to other key ABS economic indicators. Therefore, consumption and expenses related to facilities under the financial control of the business/organisation unit referenced on the address label of this form should be reported.
Please do not apply the threshold used in NGER reporting. Report all levels of generation and consumption.

As an electricity generator, do I report natural gas and other fuels consumed in the generation of electricity?
Yes, all fuels used in the generation of electricity are in scope of this survey and should be reported.

I use cogeneration and/or trigeneration, where should I include this on the form?
Any cogeneration and/or trigeneration technologies should be reported in Question 8 as a percentage of the total electricity generated by this business/organisation reported in Question 4.


ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE

Energy conversion factors

Electricity
1 megawatt hour (MWh) = 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh)
1 gigawatt hour (GWh) = 1 million kilowatt hours (kWh)
1 gigajoule (GJ) = 277.78 kilowatt hours (kWh)

Natural gas

1 gigajoule (GJ) = 1,000 megajoules (MJ)

Other fuels

1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000,000 litres (L)

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

1 kilolitre (kL) = 1 cubic metre (m3)
1 megajoule (MJ) = 0.0254 cubic metres (m3) (please note that while the energy content of CNG can vary, this is the accepted Australian standard energy content)

Consumption of, and expenditure on, electricity received from an electricity provider

Our electricity expenses are paid by our landlord/lessor as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions; what should we report at Questions 10 and 11?
Electricity paid for by the landlord/lessor as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions and as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of electricity expenses.
Electricity expenses covered as part of a lease arrangement should be indicated by selecting one of the “Yes” options for electricity consumption paid for by another business/organisation in Question 11.

I am a landlord/lessor that pays electricity expenses for other businesses/organisations as part of a rent/lease agreement; should I report tenant/lessee data?
Electricity consumption and expenditure that is not separately invoiced to tenants/lessees, but is paid by this business/organisation as part of a rent/lease agreement should be included in the data for this business/organisation.

I am a contractor who works on sites owned/operated by other businesses/organisations where the electricity expenses are paid for by the site owner/operator; what should I report at Questions 10 and 11?
If, as a contractor, you are not separately invoiced for the electricity that you use on-site, then this amount does not need to be included as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of electricity expenses on the site.
Electricity expenses specifically covered as part of a contract and not separately invoiced should be indicated by selecting one of the “Yes” options for electricity consumption paid for by another business/organisation in Question 11.

I am a site owner/operator that pays electricity expenses for contractors that work on site; should I report these electricity expenses?
Electricity consumption and expenditure that is not separately invoiced to contractors, but is paid by this business/organisation should be included in the data for this business/organisation.

When I look at the electricity/gas bill it includes administrative charges; should these be included or do I have to separate out the usage fees only?
All administrative charges including supply charges, fixed price and usage fees, maintenance etc. should be included.

What if the billing period for purchased electricity falls outside of the EWES reporting period?
Report expenditure and consumption of electricity received from an electricity supplier based on the consumption and expenditure detailed on the four quarterly bills or equivalent twelve month period closest to the 2017-18 reporting period. In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided.

Consumption of, and expenditure on, natural gas received from a natural gas provider

Our natural gas expenses are paid by our landlord/lessor as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions; what should we report at Question 13?
Natural gas paid for by the landlord/lessor as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of gas expenses.

Should I include natural gas consumed for electricity generation?
Yes, businesses/organisations should include their natural gas consumed for electricity generation.
This will mean that expenditure on natural gas consumed for electricity generation should be reported in both Questions 6 and 13(a).

When I look at the gas bill it includes administrative charges; should these be included or do I have to separate out the usage fees only?
All administrative charges including supply charges, fixed price and usage fees, maintenance etc. should be included.

Consumption of, and expenditure on, other fuels used during the reporting period

I am unable to source both volume and expenditure splits of all fuel types consumed; how should I report?
Careful estimates are acceptable. For example, dividing total expenditure by average fuel price to calculate a quantity or multiplying total consumption of fuel by average fuel price to calculate expenditure. In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided.

Should I include fuels consumed for electricity generation?
Yes, businesses/organisations should include their fuels consumed for electricity generation.
This will mean that expenditure on fuels consumed for electricity generation should be reported in both Questions 6 and 15 and/or 17.

Should I include fuels used in our fleet of vehicles?
Yes, businesses/organisations should include any fuels consumed in their fleet of vehicles.

This business/organisation on-sells vehicles to other businesses/organisations and households that have fuels included in the cost/price of the vehicles; should I include the fuel in these vehicles as it not used by this business/organisation?
Yes, this business/organisation should include the fuel used in vehicles that are being on-sold. This fuel is an input into the production process and therefore, should be included as part of this business/organisation’s consumption.

What is meant by energy/fuels supplied on a non-monetary basis?
This includes the use of energy products sourced from other related business units (subsidiaries) within a business/organisation or from other businesses/organisations, where no corresponding financial transaction has taken place.
If this is relevant to your business/organisation, information can be reported in the comments boxes to inform ABS about the data provided on the form.

Should I deduct amounts reimbursed by the Fuel Tax Credits Scheme (FTCS)?
No, do not deduct amounts reimbursed by the FTCS. Please include these amounts in your estimates.


WATER CONSUMPTION AND EXPENDITURE

Note: This section of the form is not included for all businesses/organisations.

Water conversion factors

1 kilolitre (kL) = 1,000 litres (L)
1 megalitre (ML) = 1,000 kilolitres (kL)
1 gigalitre (GL) = 1,000 megalitres (ML)

What was the expenditure on water supplied and wastewater services?

Our water expenses are paid by our landlord/lessor as part of our rent/lease agreement and we are unable to access the figures required to answer the volume and expenditure questions; what should we report at Questions 19 and 21?
Water paid for by the landlord/lessor as part of a rent/lease agreement should be excluded from the relevant volume and expenditure questions as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of water expenses.
Water expenses covered as part of a lease arrangement should be indicated by selecting one of the “Yes” options for water consumption paid for by another business/organisation in Question 21.

I am a landlord/lessor that pays water expenses for other businesses/organisations as part of a rent/lease agreement; should I report tenant/lessee data?
Water consumption and expenditure that is not separately invoiced to tenants/lessees, but is paid by this business/organisation as part of a rent/lease agreement should be included in the data for this business/organisation.

I am a contractor who works on sites owned/operated by other businesses/organisations where the water expenses are paid for by the site owner/operator; what should we report at Questions 19 and 21?
If as a contractor you are not separately invoiced for the water that you use on-site then this amount does not need to be included as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of water expenses on the site.
Water expenses covered as part of a contract and not separately invoiced should be indicated by selecting one of the “Yes” options for water consumption paid for by another business/organisation in Question 21.

I am a site owner/operator that pays water expenses for contractors that work on site; should I report contractor data?
Water consumption and expenditure that is not separately invoiced to contractors, but is paid by this business/organisation should be included in the data for this business/organisation.

Do I include administrative charges such as service or access fees in payments for water received?
Yes, administrative charges for water received from a water supplier for example supply, service or access fees should be included in payments for water purchased.
What if my business/organisation has expenses relating to on-site water and sewerage facilities?
Report expenses for water purchased and sewerage services provided by water authorities or other businesses/organisations. Expenditure related to on-site sewerage facilities and self-sourced water licences should not be included.

What if the billing period for water received from a water supplier falls outside of the reporting period?
Report expenditure and consumption of water received from a water supplier based on the consumption and expenditure detailed on the four quarterly bills or equivalent twelve month period closest to the 2017-18 reporting period. In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided.

Volume and type of water purchased from water suppliers

What if my business/organisation is unable to provide volumes of potable/recycled/raw water received from a water supplier?
Volumes and expenditure on water received from a water supplier can be found with your water billing information.
If exact breakdowns by type of water purchased are not readily available, then careful estimates are acceptable. In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided.
For offices/locations of your business/organisation that are leased under arrangements that include payments for water received, exclude associated water volumes as this information will be reported by the appropriate business/organisation responsible for payment of water expenses.

What if my business/organisation recycles water on-site?
Water recycled on-site is out of scope for this survey. Only recycled water purchased from a water supplier should be reported.

What if I cannot split out sewerage/waste water services from my water purchased?
Volumes and expenditure on water received from a water supplier can be found with your water billing information. However, if exact breakdowns between sewerage/waste water services and purchased water are not readily available, then careful estimates are acceptable.
In the comments boxes, please advise if estimates were used and provide the ABS with as much information as possible about the data provided.


SELF-SOURCED WATER

What if my business/organisation is unable to provide self-sourced water volumes as they are not measured or metered?
If self-sourced water volumes are not available, please provide a careful estimate of the volume of self-sourced water extracted during the reporting period.
If possible, please provide the total volume of water actually extracted from these sources, not the amount that this business/organisation may have been entitled to extract under a water license or agreement.

What if my business/organisation self-extracts water from its sites/locations but pays for the water by the litre?
If this business/organisation pays for its water by the litre, even if it is self-extracted from its own sites/locations, this water should be included in Question 19(a).
If the self-extracted water is paid through a water license or agreement, this volume should be reported in Question 26.

My businesses/organisation extracts seawater; where should this be reported?
Only seawater used for desalination or cooling purposes should be reported in Question 26(c). Seawater used for any other purposes is out of scope of this survey.


WATER USAGE

My business/organisation does not separately meter its water usage for different aspects of the business/organisation; how do we report at Questions 29 to 31?
Careful estimates are acceptable. If this business/organisation does not use water for electricity generation, cooling or irrigated agriculture, then a total water usage figure is all that is required. For most businesses/organisations this will be any water that has been purchased and any water self-sourced, minus any water that has been supplied to another business/organisation or household.


WATER SUPPLY AND DISCHARGE

We don't measure or meter the water that we discharge to the environment; how do we report at Questions 32 to 36?
If volumes are not maintained then careful estimates are acceptable. For multiple sites, the estimate can be extrapolated based on a site with similar activities.


DEFINITIONS

Aviation fuel - Kerosene and gasoline type fuels designed to meet specifications used in aviation turbine power units.

Bagasse - A residue of the sugar cane milling process which can be used as a fuel.

Biogas - Gaseous fuels, also known as biofuels and biomass gas, which are produced from the decomposition/fermentation of organic waste. Examples include landfill methane and digester gas.

Biomass - A solid renewable organic material that can be burnt as a fuel (e.g. bagasse, wood and wood waste). It can also be used to produce liquid or gas biofuels (e.g. biogas).

Black coal - A sedimentary organic rock consisting of anthracite, bituminous and sub-bituminous rank coals. Black coal is primarily used as a solid fuel to raise steam to generate electricity.

Brown coal - Also known as lignite, is a low rank, brownish-black coal with a high moisture content of around 60%.

Brown coal briquettes - Made from brown coal through a process of crushing, drying and the addition of a binding agent, to produce a compact, high energy fuel that is easily transported. In Australia it is used almost exclusively as a fuel for steam-electric power generation.

Coal by-products - Additional products derived during the operation of coke ovens and blast furnaces. Coal by-products include both liquids (tars and liquid hydrocarbon by-products, such as coal tars and tar oils) and gases (such as coke oven gas and blast furnace gas). It also includes blast furnace gas from iron and steel processing.

Cogeneration - A process in which an industrial facility uses its waste energy (e.g. heat) to produce electricity and heat. It is also referred to as 'combined heat and power' (CHP).

Coke - A material derived from heating coal in the absence of air. It is used mainly as a fuel and reducing agent in smelting iron ore, and is derived from the destructive distillation of low-ash, low sulphur bituminous black coal.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - Made by compressing purified natural gas to less than one percent of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure. It is used mainly for transportation.

Cooling water - For the purposes of this survey cooling water refers to single use water used to regulate temperature by dissipating heat from processes and/or equipment.

Crude oil - A mixture of hydrocarbons, existing in the liquid state; both in natural underground reservoirs and at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities.

Desalination - A process where salt is removed from water with a high salt content (usually seawater but sometimes other brackish water) to make it suitable for use (usually for consumption, but sometimes for industrial purposes).

Diesel (including biodiesel blends) - Fuel for diesel engines obtained from the distillation of petroleum. It includes both Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO) and Industrial Diesel Fuel (IDF). Biodiesel is a renewable fuel derived from vegetable oils or animal fats through the process of esterification. Biodiesel blended with conventional diesel, usually B5 or B20, is available at a number of service stations across Australia.

Electricity - The flow of electrical power or charge. It is a secondary energy source, meaning it is derived from the conversion of primary sources of energy such as coal, natural gas and oil.

Electricity provider - A business or organisation that provides or distributes electricity. Electricity providers may be electricity retailers, utility companies, government bodies or any other third party that provides electricity to this business/organisation. Electricity providers may also generate electricity.

Fuel oil - The heavy distillates from oil refining, used as a fuel for burning in furnaces or boilers, ships and locomotives.

GreenPower - Electricity that is generated by accredited renewable energy generators. It is provided to businesses/organisations by energy suppliers on request.

Groundwater - Water that collects beneath the substrate or soil surface (or below the ground's surface).

Hydroelectricity - A process in which flowing water is used to spin a turbine connected to an electricity generator. This includes pumped hydroelectricity.

Inland surface water - Water on the surface of the planet that is located inland i.e. it is not the ocean, or seawater. Inland surface water includes water flowing or held in streams, rivers and other wetlands in the landscape.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) - A combination of propane and butane, along with trace amounts of other compounds, recovered in either natural gas extraction or oil refining. The gases are transformed into a liquid to assist in transport.

Liquid biofuels unblended - Liquid fuels produced from renewable organic sources (biomass). Biofuels include unblended ethanol and biodiesel and are used as fuels in transportation and electricity generation.

Mine dewatering - The process used to remove excess run-off and groundwater seepage into mines.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme (NGER) - The scheme is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (Commonwealth regulatory body) which is empowered under the NGER Act 2007 to collect aggregated annual energy consumption data from designated energy intensive businesses in Australia.

Natural gas - A combustible mixture of hydrocarbon gases. It is formed primarily of methane however, its composition can vary widely and commonly includes ethane, propane, butane and pentane. It includes Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

Other fuel types - This includes heating oil, industrial materials if recycled and combusted to produce heat and energy, kerosene (other than for use as fuel in an aircraft), liquefied aromatic hydrocarbons, naphtha, non-biomass municipal materials if recycled and combusted to produce heat or electricity and other energy commodities.

Petrol (including E10) - A petroleum product used in motor vehicles. It is also known as automotive gasoline. It includes: Regular unleaded petrol - petrol that has zero lead content; Premium unleaded - a high octane fuel which has an octane rating of RON 95 and 98 and is designed for high performance unleaded engines; and Ethanol blend - also known as E10 and is a blend of 10% ethanol fuel and 90% regular unleaded petrol.

Potable water - Water received from water suppliers that is suitable for human consumption (e.g. drinking water). It may have been supplied via mains supply or transported/trucked in by other businesses/organisations.

Produced formation water - The naturally occurring water that exists within oil and gas reserves.

Raw water - Untreated water received from water suppliers. Untreated water is not intended for use as drinking water.

Recycled water - For the purposes of this survey, recycled water is water received from water suppliers only and does not include self-recycled water. This includes water that has been sourced by the water supplier from drainage, wastewater (including sewage) or stormwater that has been used again without first being discharged to the environment. It may have been treated to some extent.

Refinery fuels - Refinery coke and fuel gas as combusted or consumed by refineries.

Renewable fuels - Combustible fuels derived from biological resources, including liquid biofuels, biogas, wood and bagasse.

Self-sourced water - Water that is extracted by this business/organisation directly from inland surface water, groundwater, seawater or other water bodies. This also includes harvested rainfall into tanks. It may or may not be extracted as part of a water licence or agreement. Examples include; rivers, dams, lakes, bore water, produced formation water, seawater and stormwater into tanks.

Seawater - Water extracted from seas, oceans and estuaries and used for desalination and/or cooling.

Solar power - A photovoltaic conversion generating electric power directly from the light of the sun in a photovoltaic (solar) cell.

Stormwater - Rainfall which is collected as run-off from urban surfaces.

Trigeneration - A process in which an industrial facility uses its waste energy to produce electricity, heat and cooling. It is also referred to as 'combined cooling, heat and power' (CCHP).

Wastewater - Any water that has been used once and cannot be used again without treatment (e.g. untreated effluent, sewage and trade waste).

Wastewater services - The removal, treatment and disposal of wastewater that is discharged into a sewerage or stormwater drainage system.

Water supplier - A business or organisation that provides water through the piped mains system or other means of transport direct to site (e.g. trucks). This includes irrigation water, potable water, recycled water, raw water and/or bulk water supply service. Water suppliers may be government or private and often operate water storage, purification and supply services. They may also provide sewerage or drainage services.

Wood and wood waste - It includes wood and wood waste used to produce energy, usually through burning.

Wind power - The conversion of wind energy into electricity using wind turbines.

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