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Energy consumption by the manufacturing sector, 2014

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Released: 2015-11-02

The manufacturing sector consumed 2,177 petajoules as part of the production process in 2014, up 1.7% from 2013.

The total energy consumed by manufacturing establishments has risen by about 5% since 2009. Over this same period, real manufacturing sales increased by 15%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Energy consumption and sales of goods, all manufacturing
Energy consumption and sales of goods, all manufacturing

Despite the rebound in total manufacturing sales since 2009, total industrial energy consumption remains below that reported before the 2009 economic downturn, indicating an improvement in energy intensity.

A lower overall energy intensity in the manufacturing sector reflects the relative growth of industries with different intensities.

Three-quarters of energy consumed by four types of industries

In 2014, 74% of the total energy consumed in manufacturing was used by establishments classified to the paper, primary metal, chemical, and petroleum and coal manufacturing industries.

Together, these industries generated one-third (33%) of the total sales of goods manufactured (shipments) in 2014. In 2005, these industries generated 30% of goods manufactured while using 77% of the energy consumed in manufacturing.

Paper manufacturing industries, which include pulp and paper mills, consumed 523 petajoules in 2014. This accounted for almost one-quarter (24%) of energy consumed by manufacturing, down from 31% in 2005. This decline reflects changes in the demand for certain paper products such as newsprint.

Primary metal manufacturing industries, such as steel and aluminum, used 472 petajoules in 2014. Similar to 2005, this was just over one-fifth of the energy consumed by manufacturing. Electricity continued to account for the largest share of energy in 2014, with natural gas increasing to just over one-quarter.

In 2014, chemical manufacturing industries, ranging from petrochemicals and paint to pharmaceutical and pesticides, consumed 316 petajoules, up 16% from 2005. Natural gas accounted for over two-thirds (69%) of the fuel used by these industries in 2014, up from 59% in 2005.

The petroleum and coal manufacturing industries, including petroleum refineries, consumed 304 petajoules in 2014, a similar proportion compared with 2005. While these industries continue to use refinery fuel gas as a primary fuel source, natural gas use has increased by 40% since 2005.

Natural gas increasing at the expense of other fuels

The use of natural gas as fuel in manufacturing has increased every year since 2009. By 2014, 33% of all energy consumed by manufacturing was natural gas, up from 27% in 2009. Electricity accounted for 28% of the energy consumed in manufacturing in 2014, down from 30% in 2009.

The relative importance of 'other fuels combined' continues to decline, from about 43% of the total energy consumed in manufacturing in 2009 to 39% in 2014. Since 2005, the use of heavy fuel oil by the manufacturing sector has declined by over 80%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Energy consumption by type of energy, all manufacturing
Energy consumption by type of energy, all manufacturing

  Note to readers

The Industrial Consumption of Energy survey, sponsored by Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada, estimates energy consumed by type of energy in Canadian manufacturing.

The target population consists of Canadian establishments classified by the North American Industry Classification System to manufacturing sectors 31, 32 and 33.

The sampling unit for the 2014 survey changed from the business establishment to the business enterprise. For further information on this change, see Definitions, data sources and methods 5047.

The 2014 survey estimates are based on a sample of 4,655 establishments, which represents a weighted response rate of 86.4%.

A joule is a derived measure of energy or work. One gigajoule is equal to one billion (109) joules and six gigajoules are roughly equivalent to the amount of potential energy in one US standard barrel of oil when combusted. One petajoule is equal to 1015 joules.

Electricity consists of both purchased and self-generated electricity.

Manufacturing sales are from CANSIM tables 304-0014 and 377-0009.

Data for 2013 have been finalized while data for 2014 are subject to revision.

Contact information

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