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Canada's energy consumption declined for the second consecutive year in 2009 as final demand fell in all major sectors of the economy, particularly the residential and agriculture sectors combined.

Canada consumed 7 650 petajoules of energy in 2009, down 1.9% from 7 802 petajoules in 2008. This followed a 2.0% decline in 2008. (One petajoule equals roughly the amount of energy required to operate the Montréal subway system for one year.)

In the transportation sector, the largest consumer of energy, consumption fell 1.4%. This sector accounted for about 31% of final demand.

The industrial sector, the second largest consumer of energy, consumed 1.5% less in 2009, largely due to the manufacturing component, which declined by 5.9%. This decrease occurred primarily in three industries: cement, refined petroleum products, and iron and steel manufacturing. The industrial sector accounted for 29% of final demand.

In the rest of the economy, consumption declined 4.3% in the residential and agriculture sectors combined, and fell 1.1% in the commercial and public administration sectors combined.

Consumption of energy derived from the three main fossil fuels (natural gas, refined petroleum products and coal) fell 0.3%. This was due to decreased consumption in the aluminum and non-ferrous metal manufacturing and cement manufacturing sectors.

Total refined petroleum products: Production and final demand declines

Production for refined petroleum products was down 2.1% in 2009 compared with 2008. Exports were also down, falling 5.1% from 2008. Exports accounted for 21% of total refined petroleum products produced in Canada in 2009.

The total demand for refined petroleum products fell 3.1% in 2009. Consumption of all refined petroleum products declined, with the exception of motor gasoline, which increased 1.1% in 2009.

Natural gas production and exports down

Natural gas production fell 6.4% in 2009, following a 4.5% decline in 2008.

Natural gas exports to the United States were down 7.1% in 2009 compared with 2008.

Despite the decline, exports still accounted for well over one-half (59%) of total Canadian natural gas marketable production. In the United States, Canadian natural gas accounted for 14% of total American consumption of natural gas.

Declines in electricity production and demand

Electricity production from primary sources (hydro, nuclear, wind and tidal) declined 2.4% in 2009, while demand fell 4.7%.

Hydro generation accounted for 62% of electric power in 2009. Nuclear energy provided just over 14%. (In Ontario, nuclear power accounted for 55% of total electricity generation.)

The amount of coal used to generate electricity by utilities fell 16.3% from 2008 to 2009. Consumption of total refined petroleum products to produce electricity fell 2.1%, while consumption of natural gas declined 13.6%.

Coal: Production and exports decrease

Coal production was down 8.7% in 2009, primarily as a result of lower demand by electric utilities, as well as in the manufacturing sector.

Consumption of coal by the manufacturing sector decreased 20.7% in 2009 from 2008, as a result of decreased demand for energy in the manufacturing sector overall.

Exports of Canadian coal fell 12.8% in 2009 following three years of increases. About half (51%) of all coal produced in Canada in 2009 was exported.

The provinces: Demand remains highest in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec

Overall, consumption in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec continued to account for most of the energy consumed in Canada. In 2009, their total share was 72% of Canada's total energy demand.

However, demand was down in 2009 from 2008 in both Ontario (-7.4%) and Quebec (-0.6%), partly the result of declines in the manufacturing sector. In Alberta, increased consumption in the mining and oil and gas extraction sector offset decreases in the construction and agriculture sectors.

As a result of lower demand in Ontario and higher demand in Alberta, the gap is narrowing between Canada's largest provincial consumer (Ontario) and the second largest (Alberta).

Energy demand increased in three provinces in 2009: Alberta (+5.7%), Saskatchewan (+5.1%), and New Brunswick (+0.6%).

Combined, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan represented 8% of total demand. In New Brunswick, the increase was the result of rising demands in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors. In Saskatchewan, it was due to increased consumption in the total mining and oil and gas extraction sector.