Consumption of Energy Survey

Detailed information for 2003





Record number:


The objective of this survey is to collect energy consumption data for universities, colleges and hospitals across Canada.

Data release - September 22, 2004


In order to fill a pressing data gap, the objective of this survey is to collect energy consumption data for universities, colleges and hospitals across Canada. This population was not surveyed previously for energy consumption; however this sector is a key component within Natural Resources Canada's programming and analysis of energy efficiency. These data will 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

Collection period: February to March


  • Energy
  • Energy consumption and disposition

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Hospitals were extracted from the Business Register using NAICS codes 622111 General (except paediatric) Hospitals; 622210 Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals; and, 622112 Paediatric Hospitals. This population was refined upon analysis to remove "health boards" and/or "associations" as these are not hospitals per se, but administrative bodies. Further, there was some overlap with "research institutes" that are already covered by in-scope hospitals. "Non-hospital" units were minimized by applying an employee threshold of 50 or more employees (employment class = 05 and greater).

The university population was taken from a list provided by Public Institutions Division. Here, NAICS code 611310 Universities is considered in-scope. This list is campus-based, which is the unit of measure for universities.

The colleges (and C.E.G.E.P.s) population used NAICS code 611210 Community Colleges and C.E.G.E.P.s from the Business Register. Colleges were also treated on a campus basis, similar to universities. A college must have 20 or more employees (employment class = 04 and greater).

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.


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

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: January 19, 2004 to March 31, 2004

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

These data were collected via a paper questionnaire in a mail-out, mail-back format. Completed questionnaires were captured via an internally developed MS Access application. Various elements of the 2003 survey frame, such as contact person, telephone number and mailing address were updated based upon the pilot survey results. Otherwise, there was no pre-contact with respondents. Telephone follow-up was conducted for partially completed or problematic cases.

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

Error detection

Error detection is applied at the processing stage of the survey. Once all questionnaires are data captured, micro data analysis is performed using SAS, Excel or Access. Here, the main consideration is the energy intensity of each responding case. Energy intensity is the energy consumption divided by the gross building area to yield an energy unit (normally gigajoules) per square metre. This is undertaken for each type of energy consumed (i.e. electricity, natural gas, etc.). Because the survey's unit of sample is a complex entity such as a university or college campus or hospital complex, the energy intensity is one way of standardizing the consumption across many different units.


This methodology does not apply.


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.

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.

Data accuracy

Upon completion of this survey, coefficients of variation were calculated for all energy types consumed. The overall response rate for this survey was 70 %. Given the highly variable nature of our unit of observation (i.e. university campuses, hospital complexes, etc.), a somewhat more generous letter grading system was developed in order to accommodate such natural differences.

Data Quality Indicator
A: Coefficient of Variation (CV) less than 20 percent
B: Coefficient of Variation (CV) between 20 percent and 29.99 percent
C: Coefficient of Variation (CV) between 30 percent and 39.99 percent
D: Coefficient of Variation (CV) between 40 and 49.99 percent; USE WITH CAUTION
F: Coefficient of Variation (CV) greater than or equal to 50 percent; ESTIMATE TOO UNRELIABLE TO BE PUBLISHED


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