Commercial and Institutional Consumption of Energy Survey

Detailed information for 2008





Record number:


The purpose of this survey is to collect detailed information on the energy demand and consumption patterns of Canadian businesses, institutions and organizations.

Data release - November 16, 2010


The purpose of this survey is to obtain information on the demand for energy in Canada. This survey will provide updated statistical information on the energy consumption patterns of Canadian businesses, institutions and organizations. This sector is a key focus of Natural Resources Canada's programming and analysis of energy efficiency. These data provide much needed insight into the patterns of energy consumption across this sector and will give Natural Resources Canada the ability to develop or refine its programs to promote energy efficiency in Canada.

Reference period: Calendar year


  • Energy
  • Energy consumption and disposition

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for this survey is businesses and institutions -- at the establishment level -- within the NAICS codes outlined in the additional information link below, with a minimum of 1 employee and a business location that is not a residence. As with the previous survey, small home-based businesses and businesses with no employees (such as independent consultants or researchers) will be out of scope. Unless otherwise indicated, the Business Register was the survey frame for each industry.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was initially designed for Manufacturing, Construction and Energy Division's Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey. Its use for this population was tested via a pilot survey in 2002.

Revisions to the 2003 questionnaire were based upon the pilot survey results, as well as input from the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre.

There were 3 versions of the 2004 survey questionnaire, one for commercial businesses which included a question on the number of employees, one for hospitals which included a question on the number of beds and one for education institutions which included a question on the number of students.

Since 2005, there is a separate questionnaire for religious organizations as well as a questionnaire that was sent to a knowledgeable contact, such as a landlord or property manager, for completion when establishments were unaware of their energy consumption. The survey also included new questions on establishment equipment and cogeneration.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

These data were collected via a paper questionnaire using a mail-out, mail-back approach. A pre-contact of all survey respondents was conducted to verify contact person, telephone number and mailing address. Data was captured in a blaise application.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

Error detection was applied at the processing stage of the survey. Once all questionnaires were captured, micro data analysis is performed using SAS, Excel or Access. Here, the main consideration is the energy intensity of each responding unit. Energy intensity is the energy consumed divided by the gross area of a building, expressed in energy units (normally gigajoules) per square metre. This is undertaken for each type of energy consumed (e.g. electricity, natural gas, etc.). Because the sample units used in the survey are diverse, such as a university or college campus or a hospital complex, the energy intensity measure is used to standardize consumption across the many different units. Any records with an extreme value for intensity were flagged and three variables are examined: their total energy, total area and number of employees (or number of beds if the responding unit is a hospital, or number of students for a school). If any of these three variables has a questionable value, that variable was flagged for imputation.


Estimation was performed at the national level for this survey. The micro data file was adjusted for non-response and then units were re-weighted for the purposes of estimation. The estimates are calculated using Statistics Canada's Generalized Estimation System as applied to a stratified sample.

Quality evaluation

The quality evaluation process includes historical trend analysis in order to gauge the consistency of reporting.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Given that there is a micro data sharing agreement with Natural Resources Canada for this survey, all respondent identifiers are removed from the shared file. Identifiable cases are removed from the file to avoid any direct or residual disclosure. In certain situations, when there are not enough respondents to protect confidentiality at a given geographical level, NAICS codes are collapsed into a composite code.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

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