Consistent and reliable energy statistics are of vital importance for proper monitoring of energy-efficiency policies. In recent studies, irregularities have been reported in the Dutch energy statistics for the chemical industry. We studied in depth the company data that form the basis of the energy statistics in the Netherlands between 1995 and 2004 to find causes for these irregularities. We discovered that chemical products have occasionally been included, resulting in statistics with an inconsistent system boundary. Lack of guidance in the survey for the complex energy conversions in the chemical industry in the survey also resulted in large fluctuations for certain energy commodities. The findings of our analysis have been the basis for a new survey that has been used since 2007. We demonstrate that the annual questionnaire used for the international energy statistics can result in comparable problems as observed in the Netherlands. We suggest to include chemical residual gas as energy commodity in the questionnaire and to include the energy conversions in the chemical industry in the international energy statistics. In addition, we think the questionnaire should be explicit about the treatment of basic chemical products produced at refineries and in the petrochemical industry to avoid system boundary problems
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