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Energy consumption by the manufacturing sector, 2018

Released: 2019-10-29

Energy consumption by the manufacturing sector

2 209 petajoules


2.3% increase

(annual change)

The manufacturing sector consumed 2 209 petajoules of energy as part of the production process in 2018, up 2.3% from 2017.

Natural gas and electricity were the largest sources of energy consumed

Natural gas (31.9%) was the largest source of energy consumed in the production process in 2018, followed by electricity (28.9%), spent pulping liquor (10.8%) and wood (8.4%).

Other energy sources combined accounted for the remaining 19.9% of the total energy consumed.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Energy consumed by manufacturing industry for production, 2018
Energy consumed by manufacturing industry for production, 2018

Growth in natural gas consumption outpaces electricity

Prior to 2011, electricity was the largest source of energy consumed by the manufacturing sector. In 2011, natural gas became the most consumed energy source, and its consumption has grown at a faster pace than that of electricity. From 2009 to 2018, natural gas consumption rose by 25.2%, while electricity consumption grew by 4.6%.

Over this same period, the consumption of spent pulping liquor (+24.9%) and wood products (+8.8%) increased, while all other fuels combined declined (-17.8%).

Chart 2  Chart 2: Energy consumption, 2009 to 2018
Energy consumption, 2009 to 2018

Paper and primary metal manufacturers were the top consumers of energy

In 2018, the top consumers of energy were paper (26.5%), primary metal (23.0%), petroleum and coal products (13.3%), and chemical product (13.2%) manufacturers. Combined, these manufacturers accounted for 76.0% of the total energy consumed.

Natural gas was primarily consumed by the chemical (25.8%), primary metal (18.5%), paper (13.2%) and food (10.8%) industries. Combined, these industries accounted for 68.4% of the natural gas consumed by manufacturing industries.

The largest consumers of electricity were primary metal (38.2%), paper (22.4%), chemical (11.8%), food (5.1%) and wood product (4.1%) manufacturers, accounting for 81.7% of the total electricity consumed in the production process.

Spent pulping liquor was consumed only by the paper manufacturing industry, while the largest consumers of wood and wood waste were the paper (51.4%) and wood products (46.2%) manufacturing industries.

  Note to readers

The Annual Industrial Consumption of Energy Survey, sponsored by Natural Resources Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada, estimates energy consumed by type of fuel 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 2018 survey estimates are based on a sample of 4,840 manufacturing establishments, which represents a weighted response rate of 88.3%.

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.

Other energy sources include butane, coal, coal coke, coke oven gas, heavy fuel oil, middle distillates, petroleum coke and coke from catalytic cracking catalyst, propane, refinery fuel gas, and purchased steam.

Electricity consists of both purchased and self-generated electricity.

Totals and percentages may not add up because of rounding.

Data for 2017 have been finalized. Data for 2018 are subject to revision.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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