Energy consumption in households: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
The data on energy consumption in households are primarily collected from sellers of energy. Sector-specific accuracy of the data varies by energy source. Creation of the sectoral division is described in the section Processing of the data.
The statistics are derived from the sales statistics of energy enterprises. In the compilation of the statistics, sector-specific breakdown of sales of energy enterprises are specified and models are used to break down the total sales into different purposes by energy source. The data on the use of wood are based on separate sample surveys carried out approximately every ten years. The figures for the years between the surveys are estimated with purpose of use models.
The purpose of use models are calibrated by means of sample surveys and separate reports. The volume data required for the statistics are drawn from registers. Slight differences between volume data obtained from registers and the population have been identified.
Unit of measure
Frequency of dissemination
- Small combustion of wood 55%
- Peat 60%
- Coal 60%
- Heavy fuel oil 83%
- Light fuel oil 78%
- Natural gas 90%
The assumed net effective heating energy ratios are based on the REM model (model for calculating energy consumption for the building stock) jointly developed by the Tampere University of Technology and the Technical Research Centre of Finland.
- detached houses: one and two-dwelling houses, semi-detached houses and other detached and semi-detached houses.
- terraced houses: rowhouses, terraced houses and other attached houses
- blocks of flats: balcony-access blocks and houses with at least three dwellings of which at least two are on top of each other.
- free-time residential buildings: detached summer cottages or free-time residences mainly intended for private use.
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
• The total volumes of electricity sales are known. There is some uncertainty concerning the sectoral breakdown of the sales as power companies report housing and agriculture as a single entity. Electricity generation in households by means of solar panels is estimated.
• Sales figures for district heating and regional heating are collected from a number of different sources and the smallest power companies are not included. Moreover, some of the operators fail to supply sales data and/or fail to break down the sales into sectors. These data are imputed.
• The data on sales of oil products (light and heavy fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas) are collected for each product separately and the breakdown into sectors and areas of use are made by means of models. A small amount of liquefied petroleum gas is currently reported under natural gas.
• Use of wood and other biomass is based on a sample survey, which is carried out approximately every ten years. The figures for the years between the surveys are estimated by means of a model.
• The data on net energy generated by heat pumps are produced with a calculation model by using the sales data of heat pump entrepreneurs and assumptions on heat requirements. The equipment numbers are checked on the basis of sample data. The process of verifying energy data is currently under development.
• Sales figures for natural gas are known by sector.
• Coal and peat are the solid fossil fuels included in the statistics. They are only used in small scale and the volumes are estimated on the basis of models. The extent of the heating method is monitored by means of sample surveys.
Comparability - geographical
Different countries use different methods to produce the data (sample, total survey) and the statistical concepts are not yet well-established. For example, some countries exclude holiday homes from the statistics. There are also differences in classifications. In Finland, cooling is included in other consumption, while natural gas includes small amounts of liquefied petroleum gas. For this reason, comparisons between individual countries are not straightforward.
Comparability - over time
Coherence - cross domain
Source data and data collections
The collection of the sales data is described in more detail below:
• The data on electricity sales are collected by Finnish Energy. The data are supplied using the following sectoral breakdown: housing and agriculture, industry, services, and other. The data cover practically all electricity networks and the electricity sold through them. In addition to the electricity purchased from power companies, electricity end use also includes the electricity generated by households themselves. Its volumes are estimated on an imputed basis by using the data on the number of solar panels collected by the Energy Authority from network companies.
• Sales data on district heating are supplied by Finnish Energy and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The heat production inquiry of Statistics Finland is used as a supplementary data source. The inquiry covers separate heat generation and it is sent to heat producers with a total annual generation of 10,000 megawatt hours (MWh) or with a heath generation capacity of at least five megawatts (MW). The smallest enterprises selling regional heating are not included in the survey.
• The Natural Resources Institute Finland carries out a survey on the use of firewood in heating approximately every ten years. In the years between the surveys, the data are generalised on an imputed basis.
• Heat pump sales data are collected by the Finnish Heat Pump Association each year. The energy calculations are carried out on the basis of models.
• Statistics Finland carries out its own inquiry to collect sales data on oil and biofuels. Approximately 15 data suppliers take part in the inquiry about monthly fuel sales and stock data.
• Natural gas sales data are obtained from the Finnish Gas Association. In connection with the opening of the natural gas markets, Gasgrid Finland introduced a gas hub, from which Statistics Finland will in the future obtain the natural gas sales data.
• Coal and peat are only used in small scale and for this reason, no housing-related data on their use are collected. Instead, the estimate on the use of these fuels is model-based. The data are verified from other sources as required.
Frequency of data collection
1. Producing sectoral breakdown for the sales data
2. Modellings for areas of use
Energy sales data are divided between sectors as follows:
• For electricity, the energy used by agriculture is estimated by using the sample-based data collected by the Natural Resources Institute Finland from agricultural and horticultural enterprises and by verifying the data size category on the basis of Finnish Tax Administration data for the years for which no data based on sample surveys are available.
• The sectoral breakdown missing from district heat sales data is imputed manually by using data on the breakdown of the building volumes equipped with district heating in the company’s area of operations (municipality) and specific consumption figures for area of use modellings. (This is currently done manually but rules-based imputation will be introduced in the future.) Adjustments: currently, calculations by the Natural Resources Institute Finland on the use of wood are transferred to international calculations but after that they are not incorporated into consumption breakdowns.
• The sectoral breakdown for natural gas is used in unchanged form.
• Sales data on oil products are collected for each product (and region). The sectoral breakdown for oil products is created in the modelling of areas of use. Light and heavy fuel oil (heating) and liquefied petroleum gas (heating and cooking) are the products used by households. The use of heating energy in housing is estimated using the building heating model. The percentage of motor-driven machines of the fuels referred to above is estimated using the TYKO model of the Lipasto model structure created by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The use of oil products estimated with these models is incorporated into the sales data.
Modellings for areas of use:
The modellings for areas of use are based on three different models: Statistics Finland maintains the heating model and the electrical equipment model. The heat pump model has been developed in cooperation with the Finnish Heat Pump Association.
Principles and outlines
Contact organisation unit
Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.
Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.
Further information: Statistical legislation
Confidentiality - policy
The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.
Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Confidentiality - data treatment
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Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland
Accessibility and clarity
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Data revision - policy
Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.
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Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics
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