Today in Switzerland For Members

Today in Switzerland: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 30 Aug, 2022 Updated Tue 30 Aug 2022 07:21 CEST
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All new buildings will have to have solar panels. Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Colder weather and thunderstorms ahead, some tenants to pay more toward electricity charges, and other Swiss news in our roundup on Tuesday.

Variable weather in days ahead

As summer is drawing to an end, changeable weather will prevail through the weekend, MeteoNews weather service reports.

Today, rain and thunderstorms are expected, and local flooding can’t be ruled out due to the sometimes extremely large amounts of rain. A cold front will move across the northern side of the Alps on Wednesday night.

In the days that follow, sunshine, thunderstorms and fog will alternate.

While rain and thunderstorms are still forecast for Friday and Saturday in many places,  Sunday will bring sunshine and temperatures of up to 28 degrees. Then, at the start of next week, the 30-degree mark will be reached — possibly for the last time — before it gets cooler and wetter again.

Geneva tenants to pay more towards electricity charges

A number Geneva households have received a letter in recent days announcing an increase in monthly provisions for electricity.  

This measure is meant to offset higher energy prices expected in the coming months.

According to initial estimates from Pilet & Renaud, a Geneva rental agency, a typical increase could be between 20 and 30 percent more than currently.

For that reason, this year more than ever, “it is necessary to be careful and to put this money aside, so as not to find yourself in a difficult financial situation when the bill comes”, said Carlo Sommaruga, president of ASLOCA tenants’ association.

READ MORE: Swiss tenants face higher heating costs

Pro-Europe group urges closer links between Bern and Brussels

Since Switzerland had broken off negotiations with the EU on an institutional framework agreement in May 2021, the country has been excluded from various European research and education programmes.

More recently, Switzerland has not been able to link up with the bloc to obtain the vaccine against monkeypox, since it is considered by the EU as a “third state”.

These and other exclusions have prompted a group called Swiss-European Movement to petition the Federal Council to become more pro-active in seeking agreements with Brussels.

“The Federal Council can no longer turn a deaf ear”, the group argues.

 “Doing nothing seriously endangers relations between Switzerland and the European Union. This is highly irresponsible, as war returns to Europe, energy supply uncertainty worsens and inflation rises”.

Swiss authorities have not yet reacted to the petition.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: How likely is it that Switzerland will join EU in the next decade?
 

MPs adopt urgent measures to increase electricity production

Given the difficulties that are likely to affect the supply of electricity, the Commission for the Environment, Regional Planning and Energy of the Council of States is “taking measures to increase, as quickly as possible, electricity from renewable sources in winter”.

Its goal is to accelerate the development of photovoltaic energy, which uses solar radiation to produce electricity.

The commission also unanimously decided that that from January 1st, 2024, all new buildings must be equipped with solar installations.

 

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/08/30 07:21

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