Switzerland aims to cut gas consumption by 15 percent

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected] • 25 Aug, 2022 Updated Thu 25 Aug 2022 12:52 CEST
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Switzerland wants to reduce gas consumption by 15 percent. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Switzerland is aiming for a 15-percent cut in gas consumption, the authorities announced on Wednesday, following the target set by the European Union in response to the energy crisis.

Switzerland, which depends entirely on imports for its gas, is adapting to the supply problems provoked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
and Moscow's response to Western sanctions.

It imports 75 percent of its gas from Germany.

The Federal Council announced on Wednesday that it would do everything it can to avoid shortages. The EU announced plans to make 15-percent cuts across the bloc earlier this month.

Switzerland aims to cut consumption by the same proportion in the winter months -- October to the end of March -- compared with average consumption over the last five years.

It is looking at “various options of consumption restrictions, bans, and quota systems” to be implemented in case of need.

As soon as there is a real risk of shortage, “calls to reduce consumption will be made to all gas consumers”, the Federal Council said. If the shortage persists despite these calls for voluntary measures, authorities “may order the interruption of gas supply from all switchable installations”.

Concrete actions will be decided on August 31st, and will be passed on to cantons for consultations.

“These measures will come into effect only in the event of a shortage and would be adapted according to the situation”, the Federal Council added. “For example, regions may be affected differently by the gas shortage.”

Earlier, authorities indicated they'd like companies and individuals to switch from gas to oil to avoid shortages. 

"First it is up to businesses rather to switch from gas to oil, and to do so immediately”, said Economy Minister Guy Parmelin.

“As of today, independently of market prices, we must build up reserves of fuel oil. If everyone waits until the fall, we will have a logistical problem”, he added.

As for households, they “should be prepared to turn down the heating as well”.

In the event of an actual shortage, “consumption restrictions may be ordered, for example restrictions on the heating of unoccupied buildings. The switching to biofuel could be imposed by ordinance”, Parmelin noted.

READ MORE: ‘It could hit us hard’: Switzerland prepares for impending gas shortage

 

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