Sunday, April 12, 2009

Source of the Canadian stats I use

I got a comment from Stephen the other day asking about the Canadian stats in the right nav. Stephen mentioned that he'd been looking around and found some stats but was not able to find one definitive source for all these stats (in one place).

I encountered the same thing when I was doing my research. I was not able to find one source for all the Riot for Austerity stats. But I did find some cool sites which have an awful lot of information on environmental statistics.
Photo by ArtemFinland

One of these is Earthtrends the other is Statistics Canada. Earthtrends is an online database of worldwide environmental information. The Stats Canada website contains Canadian statistics on just about anything - economy, environment, demographics etc.

While those two sources are good, I did have to bounce around to a few other sites to get stats on all the Riot for Austerity categories, so below are the links to all the sources I found for each of the categories (except food).

Gasoline:
I am using the Earthtrends info on gasoline consumption per capita.

Electricity: I found two sources for this: Earthtrends and also this source that had Ontario averages. Since the Earthtrends avg for Canada seemed so much higher than the US average (used by most of the Rioters), I used the average for Ontario instead.

Heating/cooking: I haven't been able to find a stat for this so I am just using the US stat from the Riot for Austerity which I converted from therms to cubic metres. If anyone can find a Canadian average I'd be very happy! Recently I read somewhere that the average for Ontario is something like 4,000 cubic metres per household per year, but I couldn't find the source for that number.

Garbage:
I'm using this information from Stats Canada on waste production per capita.

Water: I had a hard time finding stats on water use but eventually I found this from Environment Canada on municipal water use.

Consumer Goods:
It's back to Stats Canada for the Average household expenditures by province.

2 comments:

sdrv said...

Thanks very much!

Some of the information and stats that I have found so far are as follows:

The 12,000 kWh per year of electricity for Canadian residences in stated in many, many places. Here is just one (bottom of pg. 3): http://www.electrofed.com/_files/file.php?fileid=fileCiwfKqaVia&filename=file_CAMA_Position_Paper.pdf

For water, you do see average water use by Canadians quoted anywhere between 300-400 litres per day. 335 litres per person per day is the most common number I have come across, so that is what I have used to gauge our own progress.

335 Litres x 4 people in a household = 1,340 litres per day x 365 = 489,100 litres per year which equals 489.1 cubic metres per year, or an average monthly use of 40.75 cubic metres for a family of 4.

This makes some sense as in 2006 before we really took any notice of water use our water consumption for the year was 453 cubic metres (453,000 litres!) which was an average of 37.75 cubic metres per month on our water bill.

Here are a couple of places that mention water use numbers:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/water/tapwater.html

http://www.todaysparent.com/lifeasparent/article.jsp?content=20070605_163427_5132&page=7

For natural gas, a good report to read can be found here:
http://indeco.com/www.nsf/788895c29ec2338d85256a3300690fcc/4cade5d2c39b17e98525731000656b29/$FILE/CGA_DecliningAverageUse_FinalReport_Dec182006.pdf

In particular take a look at Figure 7 on page 10.

The gas numbers that I have come across do range, but again, numbers I see quoted for Canadian residential averages range from 2700 - 3500. 2871 cubic metres is the most common number I have seen quoted, and I have seen Ontario numbers in the 4000 cubic metre range, which would make some sense if you look at the graph in figure 7.

Just to confuse things more, The Canadian Gas Association gives an average residential use of 2700 cubic metres.

Green Grrl said...

Hey Stephen, thanks for all those great links! Going to check them out now. Glad to know that the numbers you've found are similar or the same as the numbers I found.