Annual End-Use of Natural Gas Survey (AGSD)

Detailed information for 2019





Record number:


This statistical program compiles data on the activities of Canadian natural gas distributors.

Data release - December 8, 2020


This statistical program compiles data on the activities of Canadian companies engaged in the delivery of natural gas for final use. Data collected cover sales to customers in manufacturing, mining, construction, forestry logging, hunting and trapping establishments, commercial services as well as the residential sector.

These data are required for integration into the input-output sector of the Canadian System of National Accounts. Data are intended for use by survey respondents, federal departments and agencies, provincial ministries and authorities, industry associations, industry analysts, the press and the general public to assess trends in the natural gas distribution sector of the Canadian economy.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). The IBSP has been designed to integrate approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The IBSP aims at collecting industry and product detail at the provincial level while minimizing overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure and content.

The integrated approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts. The combined results produce more coherent and accurate statistics on the economy.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: N/A


  • Crude oil and natural gas
  • Energy

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for this statistical program is comprised of Canadian companies engaged in the delivery of natural gas for final use.

Instrument design

This program compiles data from various Statistics Canada survey programs. The questionnaires used in these programs were designed using Statistics Canada questionnaire design standards. The design was done in consultation with working partners (i.e. federal departments and the Canadian Gas Association). The questionnaires are completed by respondents in electronic format.

The questionnaires are subject to regular revision to reflect changes in business activities and practices.


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

This statistical program compiles data from surveys that use varying sampling methods. Some are censuses with a cross-sectional design and others use a sampling methodology depending on the size of the target population.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Responding to questionnaires incorporated into this statistical program is mandatory.

Most data are collected directly from survey respondents using electronic questionnaires. Other data are compiled from administrative data sources.

The data mainly come from the following Statistics Canada Energy surveys: Monthly Natural Gas Transmission Survey (MNGT), Monthly Natural Gas Distribution Survey (MNGD), Monthly Natural Gas Storage Survey (MNGS), the Annual Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey (ICE) and the Annual Survey of Electric Power Thermal Generating Station Fuel Consumption (EPTG). Data sources are compiled, integrated, and analyzed to produce the final survey dataset.

Error detection

Error detection is an integral part of both collection and data processing activities. For data collected by survey questionnaires, automated edits are applied to data records during collection to identify reporting and capture errors. These edits identify potential errors based on year-over-year changes in key variables, totals, and ratios that exceed tolerance thresholds, as well as identify problems in the consistency of collected data (e.g. a total variable does not equal the sum of its parts). During data processing, other edits are used to automatically detect errors or inconsistencies that remain in the data following collection. These edits include value edits (e.g. Value > 0, Value > -500, Value = 0), linear equality edits (e.g. Value1 + Value2 = Total Value), linear inequality edits (e.g. Value1 >= Value2), and equivalency edits (e.g. Value1 = Value2). When errors are found, they can be corrected using the failed edit follow up process during collection or via imputation. Extreme values are also flagged as outliers, using automated methods based on the distribution of the collected information. Following their detection, these values are reviewed in order to assess their reliability. Manual review of other units may lead to additional outliers identified. These outliers are excluded from use in the calculation of ratios and trends used for imputation, and during donor imputation. In general, every effort is made to minimize the non-sampling errors of omission, duplication, misclassification, reporting and processing.

Each year the data are subject to revision.

Once data is compiled, macro editing is used. Editing is done at the provincial level. The method most often used is comparison with the previous year to detect substantial differences.


When non-response occurs, when respondents do not completely answer the questionnaire, or when reported data are considered incorrect during the error detection steps, imputation is used to fill in the missing information and/or modify incorrect information. Various methods of imputation may be used to complete a questionnaire, including manual changes made by an analyst. The automated, statistical techniques used to impute the missing data include: deterministic imputation, replacement using historical data (with a trend calculated, when appropriate), replacement using auxiliary information available from other sources, replacement based on known data relationships for the sample unit, and replacement using data from a similar unit in the sample (known as donor imputation). Usually, key variables are imputed first and are used as anchors in subsequent steps to impute other, related variables.


Estimation of totals is done by simple aggregation of the values of all estimation units that are found in the domain of estimation. Estimates are computed for several domains of interest such as industrial groups and provinces/territories, based on the most recent classification information available for the estimation unit and the survey reference period. It should be noted that this classification information may differ from the original sampling classification since records may have changed in size, industry or location. Changes in classification are reflected immediately in the estimates.

Quality evaluation

In order to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the data, the results may be reconciled with other Statistics Canada energy data. Other federal departments and provincial and territorial authorities routinely use the data.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects and compiles which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. 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.

Micro data is only shared or disclosed to organizations with whom Statistics Canada has an official data sharing agreement in place. All company records are removed for any respondent who has written the Chief Statistician to object to the sharing of their data.

Some respondents to questionnaires used in this statistical program are defined as carriers or public utilities, in accordance with subsection 17(3) of the Statistics Act. Under paragraph 17(2) (g) of the Act, the Chief Statistician may, by order, authorize information relating to any carrier or public utility to be disclosed. If the Chief Statistician authorizes it, all tabular estimates may be released publicly whether they disclose a business or not.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Revisions are made on an annual basis where applicable. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

Data accuracy

The data on the activities of Canadian natural gas distributors are mainly derived from Statistics Canada survey programs. The quality of these surveys is considered to be good. The response rates for these survey programs vary depending on the data sources.

It is important to note that these data are subject to error. Estimates based on survey data may carry non-sampling and sampling errors.

For a census, the main source of error in statistical estimates is due to non-response. Non-response bias is minimized by making special effort during data collection to encourage non-respondents to reply to the questionnaire. In cases where imputation is required, imputed data is carefully reviewed to ensure validity and consistency with current and any previously reported data that is available.

No direct measures of the margin of error in the estimates can be calculated. The quality of the estimates can be inferred from analysis of revisions and from a subjective assessment of the data sources and methodology used in the preparation of the estimates.


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