Frequently Asked Questions

How accurate is the data?

Snapshot is largely generated from ‘top down’ or state level data on the volume of greenhouse gases emitted and the different sources of these emissions. This level of accuracy will identify the largest emissions sectors in your local area so that you can build awareness, advocate for next steps and target your activities.

The Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories (GPC) outlines accounting and reporting principles in an ordered hierarchy. Snapshot has been designed to follow these guiding principles when selecting, and modelling data for profiles. These principles, in the recommended order, are:

  1. Relevance
  2. Completeness
  3. Consistency
  4. Transparency
  5. Accuracy

Adhering to GPC reporting principles enables all emissions released in Australia to be included somewhere and ensures that they aren’t included anywhere twice. The benefit of this is that every emissions source is someone’s responsibility, so nothing is left unaccounted for nor unmanaged. Further, it enables collation of profiles across boundaries and lends itself to supporting collaborative efforts of governments and other stakeholders.

In application, this hierarchy means that a higher-level, modelled data set is preferred over a municipal-level data set that is incomplete. For example, data provided directly from Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSPs) such as electricity use according to postcode, has traditionally been understood by many council stakeholders as an accurate source of data. However, if some data is missing (for example, missing a postcode or excluding select industrial customers) then it is an incomplete data set and cannot be considered compliant with GPC. Furthermore, the lack of transparency around DSNP data frequently leads to large energy users or entire suburb’s energy usage being removed from data sources without any notification . In this case, state-wide electricity usage data that is scaled down to the municipal level by population or economic activity is considered more complete. In line with the GPC guidelines, this modelled data is used instead of the local DNSP data.

This Snapshot team will continue to seek out GPC compliant data that may be incorporated into future iterations.

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