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Energy Use Survey: Services sector 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 October 2011

Services sector energy use equals household use

The services sector in New Zealand used almost 64,000 terajoules (TJ) of energy in 2010. This total is roughly equivalent to the energy used inside all New Zealand homes each year. One terajoule of energy roughly equates to filling an average car's petrol tank twice a day, every day, for a year.

Electricity is the most-used energy type

The two main energy types making up the 64,000 TJ total were:

  • electricity, accounting for nearly half the total
  • petrol and diesel, accounting for one-third of the total energy.

These fuels are used by most organisations, small or large. The services sector has a large number of smaller organisations, which together contributed a relatively high proportion towards the overall fuel use. However, many of the larger organisations in the services sector used a relatively low amount of energy. This is because most service activities are provided through a person's expertise rather than through highly energy-intensive activities, such as manufacturing or transport. 

 Graph, service sector energy use by energy type, 2010.

Energy use varies by industry

The energy used by the different types of service organisations is summarised below.

  • Rental, hiring and real estate was the industry with the largest energy use – due to the industry having many small users, which combined to a large total. 
  • The public administration and safety industry had the second-largest energy use – with a small number of large users.
  • Accommodation and food services included a large number of small users.
  • Health care and social assistance included a relatively small number of large users.
  • Arts and recreation services, and administrative and support services, are industries that reported low energy use.

 Graph, energy use by service sector industries, 2010.

Liquid fuel used more than solid fuel

Liquid fuels

As for other sectors, service organisations were more likely to purchase petrol and diesel from a petrol station than have it directly delivered (95 percent for petrol, and 70 percent for diesel). Roughly the same ratios existed for how petrol and diesel was used by organisations – the majority was used by vehicles on public roads (93 percent of petrol and 67 percent of diesel). For LPG, 85 percent was used for heating or cooking – and more than half the total LPG was used by the accommodation and food services industry. While fuel oil was largely used by stationary machinery off public roads, the total amount of fuel oil used by the services sector was very small.

For more detailed data from this release, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

Solid fuels

Services sector organisations used relatively small amounts of solid fuel, compared with other sectors (primary, and industrial and trade). Most organisations were not sure of the form these fuels were in – particularly what form of coal they used. However, for wood it was clear that the two most-commonly used forms were sawmill residue or fuel wood, and oven-dry wood or pellets.

Most organisations manage their energy use

Approximately 60 percent of organisations indicated they had current energy-management initiatives in place (eg monitoring energy use or cost). The public administration and safety industry had the highest rates of energy-management initiatives – 9 out of 10 organisations had initiatives in place.

About 60 percent of all organisations said they had room for further energy savings. Nine out of 10 organisations in public administration and safety reported further savings were possible. Results showed that organisations with energy-saving initiatives in place were more likely to see opportunities for further savings, while those that had not thought of energy savings before didn't see a place for them in the future.

Energy use in New Zealand's economy estimated

The data collected for the services sector in 2010 completes a three-year programme across the entire economy – the services, industrial and trade (2009), and primary (2008) sectors. Adding results from the three-year survey cycle estimates the New Zealand economy's energy use (excluding households) at 393,000 TJ annually.

Electricity is the most-used energy type although it is followed closely by diesel. Natural gas and coal are the next most-common, both being used a similar amount throughout the economy. These four energy types show varied usage patterns.

  • Electricity is used by most organisations in all industries.
  • Diesel is used by quite a large number of organisations, with some using a lot of it. For example transport, postal, and warehousing used 39 percent of the total diesel used, and agriculture, forestry, and fishing used 17 percent. 
  • Natural gas is used in large quantities by specific industries. For example the manufacturing industry used 60 percent of the total natural gas. 

 Graph, estimated annual energy use by energy type across all sectors, 2008 to 2010.

For more detailed data from the previous releases, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' boxes of Energy Use Survey: Primary industries 2008 and Energy Use Survey: Industrial and trade sectors 2009.  

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