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Fuel type used to heat dwelling

Definition

Fuel type used to heat dwelling measures the type of fuel used for heating an occupied private dwelling. More than one fuel type may be used, for example electricity, gas, coal, and wood. Insulation is not a fuel type.

This data does not indicate how often a certain fuel type was used for heating; it only indicates that it was used at least some of the time. For example, this data shows the percentage of households that used electricity and the percentage of households that used wood, but it does not show whether electricity was used more, or less, often than wood.

Where the data comes from

Question 16 on the dwelling form.

How this data is classified

11 Electricity

12 Mains gas

13 Bottled gas

14 Wood

15 Coal

17 Solar power

18 No fuels used in this dwelling

19 Other fuel(s)

77 Response unidentifiable

99 Not stated

Fuel type used to heat dwelling is a multiple response variable. If more than one type of fuel was reported as being used, each of these is counted. Therefore, the total number of responses in a table is greater than the total number of private occupied dwellings.

Mains gas is gas connected to the dwelling by underground pipes and provided on a continuous basis (never runs out). This includes new subdivisions where gas is reticulated from a central gas supply.

Bottled gas is gas provided in a bottle or canister. This may be a large bottle or canister which is located near the house; a contractor or wholesaler may remove and replace with a new one, a smaller bottle that is filled at a retail outlet, or a canister mainly used with camping and/or outdoor equipment.

Information on the number of fuels used and whether a single fuel or combination of fuels was used (and which ones) is also available.

For further information about this classification, refer to the 2013 Census data dictionary.

For background information on classifications and standards, refer to the Classifications and related statistical standards page.

Subject population

The subject population for this variable is private occupied dwellings.

The subject population is the people, families, households, or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

Non-response and data that could not be classified

Non-response

'Non-response' is when an individual gives no response at all to a census question that was relevant to them. The non-response rate is the percentage of the subject population that was coded to ‘Not stated’.

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 5.0 percent, of which 4.0 percent were substitute records.
  • Non-response rate for 2006: 3.9 percent, of which 2.8 percent were substitute records.
  • Non-response rate for 2001: 4.2 percent, of which 2.6 percent were substitute records.

Not elsewhere included

Non-response and responses that could not be classified or did not provide the type of information asked for are usually grouped together and called 'Not elsewhere included'.

  • 5.5 percent of the subject population was coded to 'Not elsewhere included' in 2013, compared with 4.5 percent in 2006. This category was not present in 2001.

For more information on non-response and substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

How this data is used

Data from this variable is used:

  • to forecast energy requirements and plan distribution
  • to monitor trends in energy efficiency and conservation
  • to analyse resource management issues relating to air quality
  • as an indicator of the habitability of housing.

Data quality processes

All census data was checked thoroughly during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it met quality standards and is suitable for use. These quality checks included edits. All data must meet minimum quality standards to make it suitable for use.

Quality level

quality level is assigned to all census variables: foremost, defining, or supplementary.

Fuel type used to heat dwelling is a supplementary variable. Supplementary variables do not fit in directly with the main purpose of a census, but are still important to certain groups. These variables are given third priority in terms of effort and resources.

Mode of collection impacts – online form compared with paper form

The online forms had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from online forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done. There will always be a mode effect but this cannot be measured. Statistics NZ design and test to minimise the effects of mode for all questions.

There were differences between how the forms were completed online and on paper for this variable:

  • The online form did not allow the inconsistent multiple response of 'Don't ever use any form of heating in this dwelling' and the selection of one or more fuel type categories. If the 'Don't ever use any form of heating in this dwelling' box was marked, any other response options to fuel type disappeared. Inconsistent multiple responses to this question were possible when forms were completed on paper.
  • On the online form, it was only possible to give text responses if 'Other fuel(s)' was marked. When forms were completed on paper, it was possible to give a text response but not mark the 'Other fuel(s)' tick box.

Quality assessment of data and data quality issues for this variable

Overall quality assessment

High: fit for use – with minor data quality issues only. 2013 Census variable quality rating scale gives more detail.

Issues to note

  • Non-response rate for 2013: 5.0 percent, of which 4.0 percent were substitute records.

For more information on non-response and substitute records, refer to the 2013 Census data user guide.

Comparing this data with previous census data

This data is fully comparable with the 2006 Census data. Changes in the data over this time period can be interpreted as real changes because there have been no changes in the way the data has been collected, defined, and classified.

This data is highly comparable with the 2001 Census data. Changes in the data over this time period can generally be interpreted as real changes. There may be a small component of change over time that is due to minor changes in the collection, definition, or classification of the data.

The 2001 question was slightly different to the question used in 2006 and 2013. In 2001 the No fuels category was worded as 'Never use any form of heating in this dwelling' instead of 'Don't ever use...'; the wording in brackets for mains gas specified ‘at street’ instead of 'from street'; and the wording for the solar heating category was 'Solar heating system' rather than 'Solar heating equipment'. These wording changes may have affected the way in which some respondents answered the question.

Comparing this data with data from other sources

No alternative data source is available from Statistics NZ.

Further information about this data

All percentages in census publications have been calculated using 'Total private occupied dwellings stated' as the denominator.

When using this data, be aware of the following:

  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is available as mains gas in some parts of the South Island.

Contact our Information Centre for further information about using this variable.

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