Australian energy usage and expenditure
Many Australian households and businesses are taking great steps to reduce their energy usage and work towards a more environmentally friendly society especially due to rising electricity prices - however there is still a lot of room for improvement.
This is reflected in the recent release of the nation's energy information, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). On July 31, the ABS released estimates of energy use, electricity generation and environmental practices of Australian businesses in 2011-12.
During this period, businesses spent $20.2 billion on electricity. Large businesses (businesses with over 200 employees) accounted for 52.6 per cent of this, while small businesses of fewer than 20 people accounted for 30.5 per cent of this expenditure. Overall, the manufacturing industry was the largest user of electricity and made up the largest share of expenditure.
Australian businesses however also generated electricity during 2011-12. Together they generated 255,319 GWh of electricity. Most of this electricity however - 90.4 per cent - was from non-renewable fuel sources, such as coal and coal-by products, but also natural gas.
Renewable resources only made up 9.6 per cent of electricity generated - totalling 24,539 GWh.
The natural gas industry is a growing one in Australia, and natural gas purchases by businesses came to $6.3 billion - of which large businesses accounted for 77.6 per cent of purchase and 75.3 per cent of consumption.
Manufacturing spent the most on natural gas, however the largest consumer group ended up being the electricity, gas and waste services industry.
In terms of overall energy expenditure, the manufacturing industry took out the title, with the transport industry the second largest contributor. The transport industry spent $11.2 billion on non-renewable fuels, $6.6 billion of this going towards diesel.
So what does all this mean? It shows that Australian businesses are still using and spending a lot of money on energy, and despite our best efforts, most of it is still coming from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels.
The ABS released these statistics to aid the response to climate change, drought and management of Australia's resources - with the aim of informing the nation's decision makers of what's really happening on the ground-level of Australian businesses.
Is your business making an effort to be more environmentally friendly? Upgrading equipment to be more energy efficient, installing technologies such as solar panels, and implementing energy and water saving policies are some ways you can make your business more 'green'.
Posted by Charlie Moore