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Energy consumption by the manufacturing sector, 2015

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Released: 2016-10-31

The manufacturing sector consumed 2 090 petajoules as part of the production process in 2015, down 2.4% from 2014.

The total energy consumed by manufacturing establishments has risen by about 1% since 2009. Over this same period, real manufacturing sales increased by 14%.

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 remained below the level reported before the 2009 economic downturn, indicating an improvement in energy intensity.

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

Three-quarters of energy consumed by four types of industries

In 2015, 75% of 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 about 29% of the total sales of goods manufactured (shipments) in 2015. By comparison, 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 542 petajoules or just above one-quarter (26%) of energy consumed by manufacturing in 2015, down from 31% in 2005. This decline reflected changes in the demand for certain paper products, such as newsprint.

Primary metal manufacturing industries, such as steel and aluminum manufacturing, used 436 petajoules in 2015. This represented just over one-fifth of energy consumed by manufacturing, a proportion similar to that in 2005. Electricity accounted for the largest share of energy consumed by these industries in 2015, with the share of natural gas increasing to just over one-quarter.

In 2015, chemical manufacturing industries, ranging from petrochemicals and paint manufacturing to pharmaceutical and pesticides manufacturing, consumed 307 petajoules, up 12% from 2005. Natural gas accounted for over two-thirds (68%) of the fuel used by these industries in 2015, up from 59% in 2005.

The petroleum and coal manufacturing industries, including petroleum refineries, consumed 293 petajoules in 2015, a proportion similar to that in 2005. While these industries continued to use refinery fuel gas as a primary fuel source, they have increased their use of natural gas by 31% since 2005.

Use of natural gas increasing at the expense of other fuels

In 2015, 33% of all energy consumed by manufacturing was from natural gas, up from 27% in 2009. Electricity accounted for 29% of the energy consumed in manufacturing in 2015, down from 30% in 2009.

The relative importance of "other fuels combined" continued to decline, falling from about 43% of the total energy consumed in manufacturing in 2009 to 39% in 2015.

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

  Note to readers

The Annual Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey, sponsored by Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada, provides data on 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 the Definitions, data sources and methods module (5047).

The 2015 survey estimates are based on a sample of 4,624 establishments, which represents a weighted response rate of 91.1%.

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 consumed. 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 2014 have been finalized, while data for 2015 are subject to revision.

Contact information

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