Methods - Gas price impacts
The Gas price impacts case study used National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) data to examine specific questions about the extent to which large manufacturing facilities were changing their natural gas use, by state and by manufacturing sub-sector levels. The study compared these data with price trends. The best natural gas price data available were aggregate state level indices (Oakley Greenwood 2018) which were not necessarily representative of firms, especially if firms paid prices locked in years ago in long-term contracts, or paid lower prices for larger volumes. Prices paid by individual businesses were unavailable due to contractual confidentiality.
The study (Gas price impacts case study) focused on east coast manufacturing firms that use large volumes of natural gas. These firms have natural gas use data readily available through the NGER scheme, and are likely to experience the greatest impacts from price rises. The manufacturing sector has the most reliable state level NGER data on energy use to compare to state level national accounts data. NGER data for Queensland were not included. Large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) development projects in Queensland meant that certain facilities in that state reported natural gas consumption that was spurious (not tied to consumption) and difficult to remove from the aggregate.
Initially the study (Gas prices impacts case study) sought to analyse micro-level business performance in response to the price shock by linking NGER energy use data, natural gas price data and business administrative data (such as employment and exports) within the BLADE. However the NGER data did not track all reporting facilities accurately over time (2008–09 to 2016–17) while many of the variables available through BLADE lag current conditions. As a result of these limitations the NGER data within BLADE covered a small subset of manufacturing facilities for financial years 2012–13 to 2014–15, prior to the most recent spike in natural gas prices. Consequently the analysis occurred outside BLADE and did not cover business performance.