A Statistical Framework for Energy in Canada
Chapter 2 Statistical Framework for Energy in Canada

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

2.1 Introduction

The framework encompasses three domains:

1) Energy statistics:

Energy Statistics are volumetric measures of energy supply and demand and the energy balances. The International Recommendations for Energy Statistics (IRES) lays out the framework for these data. Statistics Canada provides energy balances through its Report on Energy Supply and Demand in Canada (RESD). These data are obtained through a combination of energy surveys as well as administrative data provided by the National Energy Board or the provincial and territorial government departments. Natural Resources Canada also provides important information on the efficiency of energy consumption.

2) Economic statistics and accounts:

Economic Statistics can measure the effects that the energy sector has on the national economy. The Systems of National Accounts (SNA) framework has been adopted as the guideline for economic variables which pertain to this sector. The Industry Accounts Division at Statistics Canada provides the Gross Domestic Product for Canada and the National Economic Accounts Division provides information such as the Income and Expenditure Accounts, Provincial and Territorial Economic Accounts. Other federal and provincial/territorial government departments also provide economic variables pertaining to the energy sector.

3) Environmental statistics and accounts:

Environmental statistics can measure the effects of energy on the environment, while the more formalised presentations in the environmental accounts are used for linking those data to the System of National Accounts. The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) has recently been adopted as an international statistical standard by the United Nations to guide the inclusion of environmental data into the national accounting framework. StatCan currently produces physical flow accounts (energy, water, and GHG emissions), asset accounts (monetary and physical for selected energy, mineral, and biotic resources), and activity measures (environmental protection expenditures) following the SEEA guidelines. Environment Canada provides estimates of environmental contaminants resulting from the activities of the energy sector that could also be incorporated into this system.

An energy statistical framework is a basic organizing structure for energy statistics, providing guidance on the boundaries, concepts and methods for the collection, processing and dissemination of energy statistics. It supports comparability of energy statistics within the energy sector, across sectors, and across data sources and time. It also facilitates data comparability at the sub-national, national and international levels. Uniformity in international reporting of energy data is required for dealing with global challenges such as sustainable development, energy security or climate change. At the same time, it treats official energy statistics as a public good, ensuring that the public has convenient access to these statistics.

A statistical framework for energy is critical for the long-term planning and delivery of quality energy data in Canada. This framework is intended to:

  • serve as a foundation for the establishment, maintenance and improvement of the energy statistical system in Canada;
  • facilitate communication between data providers, data compilers, and major data users;
  • support the identification and prioritization of data gaps and deficiencies in the current ESP; and
  • guide the formulation of strategies to improve Canada's energy statistical system.

The statistical framework is organized around three major conceptual themes: Energy Products, Flows and Balances; Energy Industries; and Energy Consumers and Energy Use. In developing the framework, significant efforts have been made to define the scope, boundaries and categories of what is to be measured. The framework also deals with data sources, classifications, data compilation methods and data dissemination. Key concepts, definitions and links to other relevant conceptual and statistical frameworks are identified for energy-related data which fall under the SNA or the SEEA - Energy frameworks.

Start of text box

Quality Framework

7 dimensions of quality:

  • Relevance
  • Accuracy
  • Credibility
  • Timeliness
  • Accessibility
  • Interpretability
  • Coherence

End of text box

The IRES is the key reference document used to develop the Statistical Framework for Energy in Canada (SFEC). The IRES was developed by the Oslo Group on Energy Statistics and the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on Energy Statistics, and was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in February 2011. Canada is an active participant in the Oslo and Inter-Secretariat groups. The IRES provides a common, yet flexible, framework for the collection, treatment and dissemination of volumetric energy statistics. It is intended to strengthen energy statistics and make them consistent with the economic and environmental statistics and frameworks.

A quality framework describes what an ideal statistics system should look like, or what characteristics an effective statistics system should have, in terms of data quality. The OECD Quality Framework and Guidelines for OECD Statistical Activities is identified as the quality framework which would accompany the implementation of this conceptual framework for energy statistics (see Annex A).

2.1.1 Scope of the Statistical Framework for Energy in Canada (SFEC)

Energy is the capacity of a physical system to do work. While energy exists in different forms - such as light, heat and motion - energy can be classified into two categories: potential (e.g., energy “stored” in matter) and kinetic (energy of motion). Examples of potential energy include water stored in a reservoir above sea level, nuclear energy, and chemical energy. Examples of kinetic energy include wind and falling water. When the potential energy of water in a reservoir is released, it becomes kinetic energy which can be captured in a turbine and converted into electricity using a generator.

Not all energy is subject to statistical observation. Energy that exists in nature and does not have a direct impact on society is not measured or monitored. The scope of energy statistics is defined in terms of reference territory, energy products, energy flows, energy industries, energy consumers, energy resources and reserves.

The reference territory for Canada’s energy statistics is defined as the geographic territory under the effective economic control of the Canadian government, comprising the land area, airspace, territorial waters, and islands that are subject to Canadian jurisdiction. The national territory includes any free trade zones, bonded warehouses or factories operated by enterprises under customs control within the areas described above.

The Canadian energy statistical system will provide information on energy markets and industries within the Canadian national geographic boundaries, by both Canadian and foreign businesses or residents. It will also cover energy that enters or leaves Canada. The framework does not include information for energy transactions that occur outside of Canada regardless of whether a Canadian business or citizen is involved. This is different from the SNA and SEEA which are based on the residential principle, rather than the territory principle. Annex E shows the different reference territories.

The IRES promotes a multipurpose nature of energy statistics. It emphasises the idea of an energy data warehouse as an efficient way of meeting the data needs of energy policy makers and energy analysts, as well as more generally for the economic and environmental accounts. Such an energy data warehouse may store and provide convenient access to data on energy stocks and flows, as well as selected statistics on energy producers and users (e.g., on energy infrastructure, employment and capital formation), selected data about the energy market (e.g., energy prices), statistics on energy resources and reserves, etc.

2.1.2 Linkages to Other Statistical Frameworks

The IRES and the SEEA-Energy use virtually identical notions and classifications of energy products as set out in the Standard International Energy Product Classification (SIEC). This same classification system for energy products – SIEC - is adopted in the SFEC. However, in the SEEA-Energy and the SNA, the monetary estimates for energy products are in accordance with the Central Product Classification (CPC). CPC and the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) are extensively used throughout economic statistics.

Concordance between SIEC and other international product classifications, such as the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) and the Central Product Classification (CPC) are important. The SIECCPC and SIECHS concordances facilitate the integration of data based on different classification systems and energy statistics with other economic statistics. The concordance with the HS is particularly useful as all international transactions in energy products are defined in terms of HS. The CPC aggregates the HS headings into product groupings which are of particular interest for economic statistics and for various users. The HS and CPC categories are often broader in scope and may contain more elements than the corresponding SIEC category.

There are three main differences between energy statistics and the SEEA-Energy that need to be taken into account. First, the reference territory for basic energy statistics is the national territory and data collected from all the economic units physically located on the territory (territory principle). The reference territory for the SEEA-Energy covers all economic units that are residents of a particular national economy – independent of where they are located (residential principle). This difference in principles leads to differences in the way certain statistics are recorded, such as energy imports, exports, and consumption.

Second, there are differences in the definition of certain energy flows and stocks between the frameworks. The term “supply” in the IRES is defined as primary production, plus imports of primary and secondary energy, minus exports of primary and secondary energyNote 1, minus international bunkers, minus stock changes; while the term “supply” in the SNA and SEEA-Energy is defined as production (output), plus imports. Therefore, the concept of supply is broader in the SEEA-Energy than in basic energy statistics. Accordingly, the concept of energy “use” in the SNA and the SEEA-Energy covers all final uses, including exports and inventory changes. The term “final consumption” in the IRES excludes the use of energy products in the energy industries and by other energy producers as input into transformation and energy industry own use. The term “final consumption” is not used in the SEEA-Energy to avoid confusion. Instead, the term “end use” is introduced to denote the concept of energy use, excluding the use for the transformation process. In addition, in basic energy statistics, an item titled “statistical difference” is included to capture the differences between supply and demand, while no such items are in SEEA-Energy.

Third, in certain cases, data are presented differently between energy balances and energy accounts. In energy accounts, data presentation strictly follows the International Standard Industrial Classification of all Economic Activities (ISIC); information on any specific enterprise/establishment is presented under the ISIC division/class of the principal activity of the unit, while the same principle is not always followed in energy balances. A typical example is use of energy for transportation. In energy accounts, energy use for transport, as well as for other use, are presented for each ISIC class, while in energy balances, a total aggregate for “transport” is introduced, showing the total energy use for transport purposes by all economic activities, not by individual ISIC industries.

To account for these differences, data from energy statistics need to be adjusted in order to generate energy accounts. Data on imports and exports should be adjusted by relating them to transactions between resident and non-resident units independently of the location where transactions take place. Adjustments should also be made to data on energy use. For resident units in the national territory, energy use needs to be disaggregated into intermediate and final consumption. For non-residents, energy use should be recorded as exports. Data on energy use for residents abroad should be incorporated. Similar changes should also be made to international marine bunkering.

Start of text box

The System of National Account (SNA) is the internationally agreed-upon standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity, including the concepts, classifications, and accounting rules, and organizes a wide range of economic data into a structured set of accounts. It also provides an overarching framework for standards in other domains of economic statistics, including energy flows and balances, facilitating the integration of these statistical systems to achieve consistency with the national accounts. Consequently, the national accounts are some of the building blocks of macroeconomic statistics forming the basis for economic analysis and policy formulation, including analysis on the importance of the energy industries to the overall national economy.

The System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) serves as the international statistical standard for environmental-economic accounting, adopted by the United Nations Statistics Commission in 2012. It is a framework for the compilation of statistics linking environmental data and economic data. The SEEA has its roots in and is an extension of the SNA. It adopts the same definition, guidelines, industrial and commodity classification systems, and practical approaches of the SNA. It extends the SNA by recording environmental data that are usually in volumetric terms in conjunction with the economic data in monetary terms from the SNA. The power of the SEEA comes from its capacity to present information in both physical and monetary terms in a coherent manner.

The SEEA-Energy is a subsystem of the SEEA, or more broadly, a satellite account of the National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008). It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-purpose, conceptual framework for organizing energy-related statistical information. The SEEA-Energy follows the principles and structures set out in the SEEA, and the SNA is the primary basis for the concepts, definitions and accounting rules embodied in these frameworks. One of the roles the SEEA-Energy plays is the integration of environmental and economic information for energy. The SEEA-Energy supports analyses of the role of energy in the economy and of the relationship between energy-related activities and the environment.

Energy data produced according to the IRES are a key input to SEEA-Energy. Where a country has produced energy statistics and balances according to the IRES, the compilation of SEEA – Energy tables and accounts becomes an extension to the existing body of official energy statistics.

The SEEA-Energy framework consists of four main modules. (1) The physical asset accounts presenting the opening and closing stocks of energy resources such as oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. (2) The monetary asset accounts providing values of the physical stocks and their changes, based on market values or values estimated using net present value. (3) The physical flow accounts describing energy flows in the form of supply and use tables for natural inputs (e.g. natural gas), products (e.g. gasoline), and residuals (e.g. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions). (4) Monetary and hybrid flow and related accounts showing the value of domestic production and imports, as well as taxes, subsidies, and trade and transport margins. SEEA energy also brings in the concept of resource depletion as a cost against income earned from extraction activities as well as a reduction in the value of resources.

End of text box

The SNA and SEEA-Energy

The relationship between SEEA-Energy and the SNA is fundamental. The SEEA is, in general, consistent with the SNA, as it applies the same geographic scope, accounting concepts, structures, rules and principles of the SNA to environmental information, allowing for the integration of environmental information with economic information. However, there are some limited differences between the SEEA and the SNA, due mainly to the specific analytical focus of the SEEA: the environment and its linkages with the economy, and the measurement of stocks and flows in physical and monetary terms.

While the asset boundaries in the SEEA-Energy and SNA are the same in monetary terms, assets in SEEA-Energy are defined more broadly than in the SNA in physical terms; while SNA recognizes natural resources that have economic value. SEEA-Energy includes all known deposits, even parts of resources that have no present economic value as assets only. Similarly, the scope of the physical flows compared to monetary flows is somewhat broader. In addition, the depletion of resources is incorporated in SEEA-Energy as a cost against the income earned from the extraction of natural energy resources in addition to being a reduction in the value of these resources.

2.2 Energy Products, Flows and Balances

2.2.1 Products

The term “products,” as is understood in economic statistics, refers to goods and services that are the result of a production process. Energy products are a subset of products that are exclusively or mainly used as a source of energy. They include energy in forms suitable for direct use and products which release energy while undergoing some chemical or other process (combustion, nuclear fission, etc.). By convention, energy products also include biomass and waste (solid or liquid) that are combusted for the production of electricity and/or heat.

Energy products can be obtained from both renewable (solar, biomass, wind, etc.) and non-renewable sources (coal, crude oil, natural gas, etc.). It is important to distinguish between renewable and non-renewable energy products, as well as to distinguish “infinite” renewable sources such as solar from cyclical renewable sources such as biomass. Since a number of energy products are transformed into other kinds of energy products prior to their consumption, a distinction is made between primary and secondary energy products. This distinction is necessary for various analytical purposes, including for avoiding the double counting of energy production in the energy balances. Crude oil, natural gas, coal, wind, and hydro are examples of primary energy products; while refined petroleum products and biofuels are examples of secondary energy products.

Volumetric data on energy products are mainly collected and/or compiled under the Energy Statistical Program at StatCan, and include the production, imports, exports, transmission, transformation, domestic use and stocks for energy products. They compose the bulk of Canada’s energy data and serve as the most important foundation for the rest of the energy statistical system. Energy product statistics are also necessary for the compilation of some components of the SNA and for the construction of energy accounts in the SEEA-Energy.

To ensure inter-temporal and cross-country comparability of energy statistics, as well as their comparability with other statistics, the IRES recommends that the definitions, classifications and boundaries of energy products be internationally consistent in order to serve as basic tools or building blocks for energy statistics at both national and international levels.

2.2.2 Standard International Energy Product Classification (SIEC)

Purpose and Scope

The main purpose of the SIEC is to serve as a basis for developing or revising the existing national classification schemes for energy products in order to improve compatibility. It is designed to support the collection, compilation and dissemination of energy data by providing an internationally agreed upon set of definitions for energy products and a hierarchical coding system to ensure international comparability and to facilitate the linkage of data on energy stocks and flows with data on international trade and other economic statistics.

The SIEC aims to cover all products necessary to provide a comprehensive picture of the production, transformation and consumption of energy throughout an economy. Thus the scope of energy products as defined in the SIEC covers the followingNote 2:

  • FuelsNote 3 that are produced/generated by an economic unit (including households), and are used or might be used as sources of energy, which are further defined as covering:
    1. All fossil fuelsNote 4, whether or not they are used for energy purposes;
    2. Products derived from fossil fuels when they are used (or intended to be used) as fuels;
    3. Products derived from fossil fuels that are used (or intended to be used) for non-energy purposes, but are the output of energy industries (refineries, gas plants, coal mining, and coal manufacturing industries).Note 5
  • Electricity that is generated by an economic unit (including households) and heat that is generated and sold to third parties by an economic unit.

Some fuels such as waste, agricultural crops or other biomass are not of fossil origin. Such products are within the scope of the SIEC only when used for energy purposes. Thus, the inclusion of them in total energy production depends on their use.

Classification and Coding System

The categories of SIEC are designed to be exhaustive and mutually exclusive so that any product within the general scope belongs to one and only one SIEC category for any given application. At the highest level, SIEC provides ten sections for different fuels, electricity and heat. The eight fuel categories represent broad fuel types distinguished by their origin and characteristics. These ten sections are:

  • Coal,
  • Peat and peat products,
  • Oil shale/oil sands,
  • Natural gas,
  • Oil,
  • Biofuels,
  • Waste,
  • Nuclear fuels, and
  • Other fuels.

Where applicable, these fuel categories are further disaggregated by physical characteristics (e.g. brown coal vs. hard coal) and stage of processing. For some of the fuel categories, reference to the use is made since the specifications of the product make it fit for certain uses. Some products in the SIEC, although physically similar, may be considered different products due to a different origin or intended use. The top-level categories representing electricity and heat are not further disaggregated in the classification, as these products are not physical substances that can be easily distinguished by origin, composition or intended purpose.

The hierarchy of SIEC consists of four levels, which are referred to as sections (the first level), divisions (the second level), groups (the third level), and classes (the fourth level). The coding system consists of a four-digit numerical code, where the first digit refers to the section, the first two digits to the division, and so on. Thus, all four digits, taken together, designate a particular class of the classification. The hierarchy groups base categories into higher-level aggregations to provide a set of levels suitable for various needs for statistical information.

The distinctions between primary and secondary energy products, as well as between renewable and non-renewable energy products are not explicit classification and coding criteria in SIEC, although in many cases a complete detailed SIEC category can clearly be assigned to one set or another. The list of energy products at the division level are categorized as primary or secondary and renewable or non-renewable. This is presented in Annex F.

The hierarchy of the SIEC coding system at the class level, together with the correspondences with the HS, NAPCS and CPC coding systems, as well as the cross-classification of primary or secondary and renewable or non-renewable products are presented in Annex G.

2.2.3 Energy Flows

In the context of basic energy statistics and energy balances, the term “energy flow” refers to the production, import, export, bunkering, stock changes, transformation, energy use by energy industries, losses during transformation, and final consumption of energy products within Canada.

The first appearance of an energy product in Canada’s energy flow is either through its production or importation. Whereas some energy products may be used directly in the form they were captured, many energy products undergo some form of transformation before final consumption. This is the case, for example, with the processing of crude oil in petroleum refineries, where the oil is transformed into a range of products which are useful for a variety of purposes.

Once produced and/or transformed, energy products can be: (a) exported to other territories; (b) stored for later use; (c) used for refuelling ships and airplanes engaged in international voyages (international bunkering); (d) used by the energy industries themselves; and/or (e) delivered for final consumption.

The final consumption of energy products consists of: (a) final energy consumption, or deliveries of energy products to users located in the territory of reference for their energy needs such as heating, transportation and electricity; and (b) non-energy use, or deliveries of energy products for use as chemical feedstocks or for use as raw materials. Final energy consumption is further disaggregated according to the type of economic activities and the type of transportation activities.


Production is defined as the capture, extraction or manufacture of fuels or energy in forms which are ready for general use. In energy statistics, there are two distinct types of production: primary and secondary.

Primary production is the capture or extraction of fuels or energy from natural energy flows, which include the biosphere and natural reserves of fossil fuels within the national territory in a form suitable for use. Inert matter removed from the extracted fuels and quantities re-injected, flared or vented are not included in primary production. The resulting products are referred to as “primary” products.

Secondary production is the manufacture of energy products through the process of transformation of primary fuels or energy. The quantities of secondary fuels reported as production include quantities lost through venting and flaring during and after production. In this manner, the mass, energy and carbon within the primary source(s) from which the fuels are manufactured may be balanced against the secondary fuels produced. Fuels, electricity and heat produced are usually sold but may be partly or entirely consumed by the producer.


Imports of energy products comprise all fuel and other energy products entering the national territory. Goods simply being transported through a country (goods in transit) and goods temporarily admitted are excluded; but re-imports, which are domestic goods exported and subsequently readmitted are included. The bunkering of fuel outside the reference territory by national merchant ships and civil aircraft engaged in international travel should be excluded from imports, but classified as “International Marine” or “Aviation Bunkers”, respectively, in the country where such bunkering is carried out. Note that the “country of origin” of energy products should be recorded as a country from which goods were imported.


Exports of energy products comprise all fuel and other energy products leaving the national territory, excluding quantities of fuels delivered for use by merchant (including passenger) ships and civil aircraft of all nationalities during international transport of goods and passengers. Goods simply being transported through a country (goods in transit) and goods temporarily withdrawn are excluded but re-exports, foreign goods exported that were previously imported, are included. Fuels delivered to foreign merchant ships and civil aircraft engaged in international travel are classified as “International Marine” or “Aviation Bunkers”, respectively. Note that the “country of destination” of energy products (that is, the country of the last known destination as it is known at the time of exportation) should be recorded as a country to which these products are exported to.

It should also be noted that the definitions of imports and exports used in energy statistics are those adopted by international merchandise trade statistics for a system of recording known as the “general trade system”, which stipulates that all energy products entering and leaving the national territory of a country and add to or subtract from the stock of material resources of a country are recorded as energy imports and exports except for the bunkering of international fleet which is excluded from the trade figures. In the energy balances, imports and exports exclude nuclear fuels as these are not within the scope of energy balances.

International Marine Bunkers

International Marine Bunkers are quantities of fuels delivered to merchant (including passenger ships) of any nationality for consumption during international voyages transporting goods or passengers. International voyages take place when the ports of departure and arrival are in different national territories. Fuels delivered for consumption by ships during domestic transportation, fishing or military uses are not included here. For the purposes of energy statistics, International Marine Bunkers are not included in exports.

International Aviation Bunkers

International Aviation Bunkers are quantities of fuels delivered to civil aircraft of any nationality for consumption during international flights transporting goods or passengers. International flights take place when the ports of departure and arrival are in different national territories. Fuels delivered for consumption by aircraft undertaking domestic or military flights are not included here. For the purposes of energy statistics International Aviation Bunkers are not included in exports.

Stock Changes

Stocks are quantities of energy products that can be held and used to: (a) maintain service under conditions where supply and demand are variable in their timing or amount due to normal market fluctuations, or (b) supplement supply in the case of a supply disruption. Stocks used to manage a supply disruption may be called ”strategic” or “emergency” stocks and are often held separately from stocks designed to meet normal market fluctuations. Stock changes are defined as an increase (stock build) or decrease (stock draw) in the quantity of stock over the reporting period. They are calculated as the difference between closing and opening stocks.


Transfers are essentially statistical devices used to overcome practical classification and presentation issues resulting from changes in use or identity of a product. Transfers comprise product transferred and inter-product transfers. Product transferred refers to the reclassification of products that is necessary when finished oil products are used as feedstock in refineries. Inter-product transfers refer to the movements of fuels between product categories because of the reclassification of a product which no longer meets its original specification. The transferred product is often blended with its host.


Transformation is the process wherein part or all of the energy content of a product changes into one or more different products (e.g., crude oil to petroleum products, and heavy fuel oil to electricity).


Losses occur during the transmission, distribution and transport of fuels, heat and electricity. Losses also include venting and flaring of manufactured gases, losses of geothermal heat after production and pilferage of fuels or electricity. Production of secondary gases includes quantities subsequently vented or flared. This ensures balance between the use of the primary fuels from which the gases are derived and the production of the gases.

Energy Industries Own Use

Energy Industries Own Use refers to consumption of fuels and energy for the direct support of the production and preparation for use of fuels and energy. Quantities of fuels that are transformed into other fuels or energy are not included here but within transformation. Neither are quantities which are used within parts of the energy industry not directly involved in energy production. These quantities are reported within final consumption.

Non-Energy Use

Non-Energy Use comprises fuels for chemical feed stocks and non-energy products. Chemical feedstocks are fuels used as raw materials for the manufacture of products which contain the hydrogen and/or carbon taken from the fuel. Non-energy products are fuel products used mainly for their physical and chemical properties. Examples are lubricants, paraffin waxes and coal tars and oils used as timber preservatives.

Final Consumption

Final Consumption refers to all fuel and energy that is delivered to users for both their energy and non-energy uses, not including the transformation process.

2.2.4 Energy Balances

An energy balance and its purpose

An overall energy balance is an accounting framework for compilation and reconciliation of data on all energy products entering, exiting and used within the national territory during a reference period. Such a balance expresses all forms of energy in a common accounting unit - be it the Joule, tons of oil equivalent, or other physical measurements - and shows the relationship between the inputs to and the outputs from the energy transformation processes.

The energy balance is a multipurpose tool used to provide comprehensive and reconciled data on energy situations. It also helps to understand the energy security situation and the functioning of energy markets, and to formulate energy policies. In addition, the energy balance serves as a quality assurance tool to ensure completeness, consistency and comparability of basic statistics. This multipurpose nature can be further enhanced by the development of supplementary tables of additional information on particular issues that are not explicitly reflected in the balance itself.

Energy balances can be presented in detailed and/or aggregated formats, depending on the policy concern, data and resource availability, and the underlying classifications used. The IRES recommends that countries collect data at the level of detail that allows for the compilation of a detailed energy balance, as presented in Annex I. When such level of detail is not available or practical, it is recommended that countries at minimum follow the template of the aggregate energy balance presented in Annex J.

The scope

The scope of an energy balance is determined by the territory as well as product and flow boundaries as they are defined in the IRES. The product and flow boundaries are fixed in the short term, but may expand as technology advances and new sources of energy become available. The scope of an energy balance does not include passive energy (such as the heat gain of buildings and solar energy falling on the land to grow crops), deposits of energy resources and reserves and extraction of any materials not covered in primary energy production, nor waste and biomass used for non-energy purposes. Annex J provides the scope of energy products in Canada’s current energy balance.

The structure

An energy balance is a matrix showing the relationship between energy products (represented in columns) and flows (represented in rows). While the structure of an energy balance depends on the country’s energy production and consumption patterns and the level of detail required, the IRES recommends that certain common approaches be followed to ensure international comparability and consistency.

Columns The cells of a column show the contribution of a given energy product to specific flows. Different columns (except “Total”) represent various energy products which might be grouped and sequenced in a way to add to the analytical value of the balance. The number of columns depends on whether the balance is intended for use as the source of the most detailed data or is prepared for general dissemination.

Rows One of the main purposes of an energy balance is to reflect the relationships between the primary production of energy (and other energy flows entering/exiting national territory), transformation and final consumption. The number of rows and their sequencing in a balance are intended to make those relationships clear while keeping the balance compact, especially when presented in an aggregated format.

Sequencing of rows. An energy balance should contain three main blocks of rows.

The top block – energy supply – is intended to show flows representing energy entering the national territory for the first time, energy removed from the national territory and stock changes. Energy supply within the national territory during the reference period is calculated as:

  • Total energy supply =
  • + Primary energy production
  • + Import of primary and secondary energy
  • - Export of primary and secondary energy
  • - International (aviation and marine) bunkers
  • - Stock changes

The middle block – The main purpose of the middle block is to show transfers, energy transformation, energy industry own use and losses. It is recommended that countries show in their balances, to the extent possible and as applicable, energy transformation by plant category.

The bottom block - final consumption - covers flows that reflect energy consumption by energy consumers, as well as non-energy use of energy products. The final consumption is measured by the deliveries of energy products to all consumers, excluding deliveries for use in transformation and use for energy needs by the energy industries (both covered in the middle block). It is further recommended that energy consumers be grouped into three main categories: manufacturing, construction and non-fuel mining industries; transport; and other.

Statistical difference - In the energy balance, a separate row is reserved for a statistical difference that shows the difference between the total supply and the total use. It arises from various practical limitations and problems related to data collection. However, when statistical differences are abnormally large, the reasons should be examined.

2.2.5 The Overall Scope of Energy Commodity Statistics

This section presents the scope of energy commodity data that should be collected in an energy statistics system. It provides a reference list of all generally desirable data items for compilation and dissemination of energy market statistics, aiming to satisfy the basic needs of energy policy makers, the business community and the general public, and to ensure the international comparability of such statistics. The list consists of four parts: energy flows and stocks, energy balance, energy production and storage capacity, and reserves of underground resources.

Energy flows and stocks

Data on energy flows and stocks relate to statistics in physical units on energy flows such as production, conversion and consumption as well as on stock levels of different energy products. Such data are designed to produce consistent time-series which show both the current situation and changes in the supply and demand over time for various energy products. They also provide the basis for making comparisons and analysing the interrelationships between various energy products. When expressed in common units, such data make possible the regular monitoring of national energy patterns and the preparation of energy balances.

Data on energy flows and stocks can be classified into two sub-categories: data items common for all energy products and those applicable to specific energy products. A list of flows and stocks common to all energy products are presented as follows:

Energy Flows and Stocks Data Common for All Energy Products
Table summary
This table displays the results of Energy Flows and Stocks Data Common for All Energy Products. The information is grouped by Item number (appearing as row headers), Flows /Stocks (appearing as column headers).
Item number Flows /Stocks
1.1 Production
1.2 Total Imports
1.2.1   Imports by origin
1.3 Total Exports
1.3.1   Exports by destination
1.4 International Marine Bunkers
1.5 International Aviation Bunkers
1.6 Stocks at the end of the period
1.7 Stock Changes
1.8 Transfers
1.9 Transformation (by transformation processes)
1.10 Losses
1.11 Energy use
1.11.1   of which: for transport (by type of transport)
1.12 Non-Energy Use

Energy balance

The IRES recommends that countries compile and disseminate an official annual energy balance on a regular basis that follows as much as possible the templates and levels of details as presented in Annex I. For illustrative purpose, the following figure presents a template for an aggregated energy balance, highlighting the major flows for the various energy products.

Template of an Aggregated Energy Balance

Description for Template of an Aggregated Energy Balance

The figure presents a template for an aggregated energy balance highlighting the major flows (in rows) for the various energy products (in columns). Primary energy products include (but are not limited to): coal, crude oil, natural gas, gas plant natural gas liquids, primary electricity, and steam. Secondary energy products include (but are not limited to): coke, coke oven gas, refined petroleum products, and secondary electricity. There are subtotalled columns for primary and secondary energy groupings respectively, followed by a final column total for both primary and secondary energy together.

The flows consists of 7 categories which include: Total energy supply, Statistical difference, Transfers, Transformations processes, Energy Industries own use, Losses, and Final consumption.

The first of these categories, Total energy supply consists of the balance between the following sub-flows: Primary production, Imports, Exports, International Bunkers, and Stock Changes which is the difference between the closing and opening product inventories.

Statistical difference, Transfers, Transformation processes, Energy Industries own use, and Losses are standalone items, illustrated as flows two through six and do not contain any subcategories.

The seventh and last flow, Final consumption is broken down into two sub-categories: Final energy consumption and Non-energy use. Non-energy use is a standalone item, whereas Final energy consumption is broken down further into Manufacturing, construction and non-fuel mining industries as a Total and Transport as a Total. Within these sub-categories Manufacturing, construction and non-fuel mining industries are further grouped into Iron and steel, Chemical and petrochemical, and Other industries; while Transport is further grouped into Road, Rail, Domestic aviation, Domestic navigation, Pipeline transport, and Other transport.

Production and storage capacity

Data on energy production and storage capacity are important for the assessment of the existing ability of a country to produce and store energy products.

Oil: Refinery capacity;
Natural Gas: Peak output, types of storage capacity, and working gas capacity;
Electricity and heat: Net maximum electrical capacity (by type of technology); peak load demand, available capacity at time of peak, date and time of peak load occurrence;
Biofuels and waste: Capacity for bio-gasoline, biodiesel and other liquid biofuels.

Reserves of energy resources

Energy resources refer to “all non-renewable energy resources of both inorganic and organic origin discovered in the earth’s crust in solid, liquid and gaseous form.” Energy reserves are part of the resources which, based on technical, economic and other relevant (e.g., environmental) considerations, could be recovered and for which extraction is justified to some extent. Even though data on energy resources, stocks and reserves are generally collected by other organizations, the IRES recommends that such data should be obtained and included in an energy data warehouse.

Data on deposits of underground resources are important for the assessment of the discovery and depletion levels of underground resources. The following is a list of energy resources for which deposit data are collected:

  • Petroleum resources:
    • Natural gas (including NGL and condensate);
    • Crude Oil;
    • Natural bitumen, extra heavy oil, oil shale, oil sand; and
    • Others.
  • Non-metallic minerals and solid fossil energy resources:
    • Coal; and
    • Peat.
  • Metallic minerals:
    • Uranium ores; and
    • Other metallic minerals.

The deposit of underground resources are further classified by characteristics reflecting the “quality of and knowledge about” the deposits, which describe the economic, geological and project feasibility status in relation to the deposit. By application of these characteristics deposits can be classified as: commercially recoverable; potentially commercially recoverable; and non-commercial and other known deposits.

2.3 Energy Industry

Energy industry statistics consist of data on the performance of the energy sector and its sub-industries. These statistics are widely used by industry and government to measure the energy sector’s performance and its contribution to, and thus importance in, the overall economy in terms of GDP, employment, capital investment, government revenues, and more. The need for energy industry statistics has become increasingly important for Canada.

2.3.1 Energy Industries and other Producers

Energy Industries

Energy industries are defined as consisting of only those economic units whose principal activity is primary energy production, transformation of energy, and/or distribution of energy. This means that the value added generated by these activities exceeds that of any other activity carried out within the same economic unit.

The collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics describing the main characteristics and activities of energy industries should be considered as one of the key components of official energy statistics.

Other Energy Producers

Other energy producers are economic units (including households) which choose, or are forced by circumstances, to produce energy for their own consumption and /or to supply energy to other units - energy production is not their principal activity, but secondary or ancillary activity. Geographically remote economic units with no access to electricity; iron and steel works producing their own coke and electricity; sugar mills burning bagasse to generate steam, process heat and electricity; industrial establishments and commercial organizations with backup electricity generators; and households with solar panels for electricity generation are examples of other energy producers. It is recognized that the collection of energy data from this category of economic unit might be a challenge. However, where such producers play a significant role, the IRES recommends that corresponding efforts should be made to collect data and incorporate them into official energy statistics.

2.3.2 Industrial Classification Systems

The IRES recommends that energy statistics are produced with respect to the main characteristics and activities of energy industries and the main groups of energy consumers. The IRES further articulates a correspondence to the divisions/groups of ISIC for both energy industries and energy consumers.

ISIC is a classification of industries according to productive activities, rather than a classification of goods and services. It is built on a production-oriented or supply-based conceptual framework that groups producing units into detailed industries based on similarities in the economic activity, taking into account the inputs, the process and technology of production, the characteristics of the outputs and the use to which outputs are applied.

ISIC has a central position among existing classifications of economic activities as well as other economic classifications, such as those for products. Its use is standard throughout the SEEA-Energy, the SNA and economic statistics more generally. The IRES defines the energy industries, or energy sector, as consisting of 17 industries. These industries and their corresponding divisions/groups in the ISIC are presented in Annex K.

Currently, the collection, organization and release of energy statistics in Canada are based on the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS), which is not substantially different from the IRES recommendations corresponding to ISIC. NAICS is an industry classification system developed by Canada, Mexico and the United States, against the background of the North American Free Trade Agreement. It is a supply-side or production-oriented classification designated to provide common definitions of the industrial structure and a common statistical framework to facilitate the analysis for the three countries.

Under NAICS Canada 2012, the Canadian economy is disaggregated into 20 sectors, 102 sub-sectors, 323 industry groups, 711 industries and 922 Canadian industries. Canada’s energy sector is not defined in the system as a standalone sector per se, but is made up by StatCan as consisting of the following three sub-sectors (SS), three industry groups (IG), one industry (I) and two national industries (NI):

  • Oil and gas extraction (SS 211);
  • Coal mining (IG 2121);
  • Other metal ore (uranium) mining (I 21229);
  • Support activities for oil and gas extraction (NI 213117 for contract drilling and NI 213118 for services);
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution (IG 2211);
  • Natural gas distribution (IG 2212);
  • Petroleum refineries (SS 3241); and
  • Pipeline transportation (SS 486).

Discrepancies exist between the definitions of the energy industries in the IRES recommendations (based on ISIC) and Canada’s current practice (based on NAICS). The definition of the energy sector adopted by StatCan includes pipeline transportation (of crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, and others) (SS 324) which is not included as part of the IRES recommendations. On the other hand, biogas production, heat and steam are explicitly included in the IRES, but not in the NAICS. The concordances between NAICS and ISIC are presented in Annex K.

To facilitate the collection of statistics on energy use and their integration with other economic statistics, it is recommended in the IRES that countries identify, as far as feasible and applicable, the groups of energy consumers as listed in Annex L. Energy consumers are categorized into six groups: manufacturing, construction and non-fuel mining industries; households; commercial and public services; agriculture and forestry; fishing; and defensive activities. For manufacturing, energy use is further disaggregated by product such as iron & steel, food & tobacco, machinery, etc. It should be noted that the economic units belonging to the energy industries – which use energy in order to produce other energy products – are excluded from this group, as their energy use is considered as energy industry own use, rather than final consumption.

Energy use for transportation occurs across consumer groups, as well as the energy industries. Energy use for transport can be further disaggregated by mode of transportation into domestic aviation, road, rail, domestic navigation, pipeline transport and transport not elsewhere specified. The Scope of Energy Industry Statistics

Data on the economic performance of producers and users of energy are important economic indicators which allow for the formulation and monitoring of economic policies related to energy and the evaluation of the contribution of the energy industry to the national economy.

These data are closely linked with the concepts, definitions and methods of the system of national accounts and are generally collected as part of economic statistics. The following is a list of the major economic indicators (definitions follow in Section

  • Gross output at constant and basic prices:
    • By energy sub-industry;
    • Contribution to overall economy; and
    • Indirect economic benefits.
  • Employment:
    • Total number of persons employed;
    • Hours worked;
    • Average wages;
    • Labour productivity; and
    • Aboriginal employment.
  • Taxes and other payments to governments:
    • Taxes (by energy sub-industry);
    • Other indirect taxes on production (by energy sub-industry); and
    • Royalty payments and other levies (land sales).
  • Gross fixed capital formation
  • Prices:
    • Consumers prices (end-use) (by energy product);
    • Import energy prices (by energy product); and
    • Export energy prices (by energy product).
  • International merchandise trade:
    • Merchandise exports (volume and value); and
    • Merchandise imports (volume and value).
  • International investment:
    • Foreign direct investment in Canada; and
    • Canadian direct investment abroad. Economic Indicators and Definitions

Data items described in this section measure certain aspects of the economic performance of producers in the energy industry and users of energy. They are important economic indicators for the monitoring and analysis of changes in the industry, for the assessment of the contribution of the energy industry to the overall economy, and for the development and implementation of energy related policies and programs. These data items are closely linked with the concepts, definitions and methods of SNA 2008 and are generally collected as part of economic statistics for which further reference and details are provided in the IRES 2008. The definitions of the key data items are summarized below.

Gross output at basic prices

Gross output at basic prices measures the result of the overall production activity of industrial units. The value of production corresponds to the sum of the value of all goods or services that are actually produced within an establishment and become available for use outside that establishment, plus any goods and services produced for own final use. In order to maintain consistency with valuation principles for output (production) of other international recommendations on business statistics and national accounts, it is recommended that countries compile the output of industrial establishments at basic prices. However, in circumstances where it is not possible to segregate “taxes and subsidies on products” and “other taxes on production”, a valuation of output at factor cost can serve as a second best alternative. Data on the gross output of energy products (by product) refer to the output generated by the production of the energy products described in SIEC.


Total number of person employed, average number of persons employed, and hours worked by employees are important data items describing the contribution of the energy industry to total employment as well as allowing for the assessment of labour input in energy production.

Gross fixed capital formation

Gross fixed capital formation is measured by the total value of a producer’s acquisitions, less disposals of fixed assets during the accounting period plus certain specified expenditures on services that add to the value of non-produced assets data. It should include the value of all durable goods expected to have a productive life of more than one year and intended for use by the establishment (land, mineral deposits, buildings, machinery, equipment and vehicles). This data item is a measure of the investments of an economic entity and should be disaggregated by type of asset to provide the basis for a more comprehensive evaluation of the performance of energy industries.


Prices refer to the actual market price paid for an energy product (or group of products). They correspond to what is commonly referred to as spot prices.

Consumer prices refer to “purchaser prices” which are the amounts paid by the purchaser. For analytical purposes, countries are encouraged to compile information on the components of the different prices:

Purchasers’ prices
minus wholesale and retail distribution margins (trade margins),
minus transportation charges invoiced separately (transport margins),
minus non-deductible value added tax (VAT),
equals producers’ prices;
taxes on products resulting from production excluding invoiced VAT,
subsidies on products resulting from production,
equals basic prices

Import prices generally include cost, insurance and freight (CIF) at the point of entry into the importing economy.

Export prices are valued free on board (FOB) at the point of exit from the exporter’s economy. It includes the cost of transport from the exporter’s premises to the border of the exporting economy.


Taxes are compulsory unrequited payments in cash or in kind made to the government. Two main groups of taxes are identifiable: taxes on products and taxes on production. However, only other taxes on production are presented as a data item as these payments are recorded in the business accounts of units. It is recommended that, in statistical questionnaires, countries refer to the specific names or descriptions of taxes as they exist in their national fiscal systems.

Other taxes on production are taxes that units are liable to pay as a result of engaging in production. As such, they represent a part of production costs and should be included in the value of output. Units pay them irrespective of profitability of production. These taxes consist mainly of taxes on the ownership or use of land, buildings or other assets used in production, or on the labour employed or compensation of employees paid.

International trade and investment

In addition to volumetric data collected through regulators and others, trade data on energy products as a subset of the overall merchandise trade data are also compiled based on custom reporting by importers and exporters. These trade data are in both volumetric and monetary terms and usually are timelier than those collected from regulators. Data on foreign investment, particularly foreign direct investment into Canada’s energy industries, are closely followed by the energy industries, government, and other concerned stakeholders.

2.4 Energy Consumption / Uses

Energy consumption has become increasingly important, driven mainly by rising profiles of energy security, energy efficiency, environmental protection, sustainable development, and multinational collaboration. In energy statistics, energy consumers consist of economic units in their capacity as final users of energy. They use energy products for energy purposes and/or non-energy purposes. The use for energy purposes is further broken down into use for transportation and non-transportation purposes.

Energy consumption statistics focus on energy used by final consumers (secondary energy use) and assesses trends in this category. The energy used to generate electricity is also included to allow the link of electricity emissions to the appropriate final users of electricity.

Unlike other end-use energy sources, electricity use does not produce any GHG emissions at the point of consumption. GHG emissions related to electricity are emitted at the point of generation. These are sometimes referred to as indirect emissions.

Therefore, it is a common practice in energy end-use analysis to allocate GHG emissions associated with electricity production to the sector that uses that electricity. This allocation is done by multiplying the amount of electricity used by a national average emission factor that reflects the average mix of fuels used to generate electricity in Canada.

End Use/Efficiency

Energy end-use measurement is important in informing Canadians of their energy use/savings at home, in business and in the public sector. Whether energy is used or saved, it has important implications, not only in terms of monetary benefits but also through the multiple benefits of energy savings in health, security and productivity of all Canadians. Energy end-use data enable the measurement of the progress in energy efficiency or savings and are the prime input into the measurement of GHGs and other pollutants from the combustion process. Energy end-use data is used not only by EC to produce the GHG Report, but also by other federal departments and agencies, the provinces, international organizations, the private sector and academia to produce various outlooks, reports, and end-use studies, and inter-/intra-sector/jurisdiction comparisons.

The National Energy Use Database (NEUD) initiative was launched in 1991. It plays a crucial role by providing detailed information on energy use by fuel-type across four sectors - residential, commercial and institutional, industrial and transportation. In producing NEUD, NRCan uses the Report on Energy Supply and Demand (RESD) in Canada for control totals. NEUD involves extensive modeling based on sectoral surveys and studies. Data is provided with, and without electricity consumed, to allow for flexibility in comparison with other data sets. The comprehensive NEUD provides energy use data by province or region. Key total and sector and sub-sector indicators where available include:

  • Energy use/GDP;
  • Energy use/Gross output;
  • Energy use/Capita;
  • Energy use/household;
  • End-use prices by fuel and by sector (prices); and
  • Shares of household expenditure on energy, by source of energy and income group.

Analysis is also provided by use of the Log Mean Divisia Index I (LMDI I) methodology – an internationally recognized factorization analysis technique which decomposes changes in energy use into the various drivers in each sector so that energy efficiency can be assessed. Results are utilized in international reporting and the Report to Parliament on Energy Efficiency.

In addition to end-use and related energy efficiency analysis, other indicators should also be available to provide information of the supply-side and energy conversion process such as:

  • Efficiency of energy conversion and distribution; and
  • The share of non-carbon energy, in each fuel type (diversification).

Energy / Environment

Energy / Environment statistics also analyze energy-related GHG emissions, including CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). CO2 represents almost 98 percent of Canada’s energy-related GHG emissions.

EC's National Inventory Report – GHG Sources and Links in Canada has more information about total Canadian GHG emissions. This GHG inventory is prepared according to the specifications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, accounting for all types of GHG emissions in Canada.

Energy-environment indicators include:

  • GHG emission from energy production and use (total, per capital and per unit of GDP) (climate change);
  • Ambient concentrations of air pollutants in urban areas (air quality);
  • Air pollutant emissions from energy system (air quality);
  • Contaminant discharges in liquid effluents from energy systems ( water quality);
  • Soil acidification (soil quality);
  • Deforestation attributed to energy use (forest);
  • Ratio of solid waste generated per unit of energy produced (solid waste);
  • Percentage of solid waste properly disposed (solid waste);
  • Ratio of solid radioactive waste per unit of energy produced (solid waste); and
  • Percentage of solid radioactive awaiting disposal (solid waste).
Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: