Energy For Members

What the Swiss government is asking you to do to save energy

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 1 Sep, 2022 Updated Thu 1 Sep 2022 11:29 CEST
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Brief, cool showers are one of the energy saving measures the government recommends. Photo: Pixabay

The Federal Council has unveiled its plan aimed at preventing energy shortages during the cold season. Each person, household and company in Switzerland can contribute to this goal, the government says.

The Federal Council already said that it would cut energy consumption by 15 percent to avoid gas shortages which are threatening to impact Switzerland, and other European countries, in the winter.

“Calls to reduce consumption will be made to all consumers”, officials said.

READ MORE : Switzerland aims to cut gas consumption by 15 percent

On Wednesday, authorities did just that: they launched a campaign to “ensure that Switzerland can quickly boost its energy supply in preparation for winter”.

Appropriately named “Energy is limited. Let's not waste it”, the campaign outlines several simple measures that can, if everyone follows them, stave off shortages and prevent power outages and blackouts.

“It shows how people can save energy with easy-to-implement recommendations”, the Federal Council said. "The objective is to encourage the widest possible participation, so that Switzerland does not find itself in a shortage situation".

READ MORE: READER QUESTION: What are the rules on heating my Swiss home this winter?


This is what you can do to help save energy in your home:

Lower the heating

“The room temperature should never exceed 20C. By reducing it by 1C, you save up to 10 percent of heating energy”, the government said.

Cover the pot while cooking

“During cooking, a large part of the energy evaporates. Always place a lid on the pan to hold it. Plus, it speeds up the cooking process".

Turn off lights

“A light on in an empty room wastes energy unnecessarily. Turn off lights when leaving a room”.

Switch off electronic equipment

“Computers, TVs and coffee machines consume energy even when they are in standby or sleep mode. So always switch off these devices completely”.

Take a shower rather than bath

“By taking only short, not too hot showers, you save a lot of hot water. A temperature of 37C is ideal for the body and for saving energy”.

Other energy-saving tips from the government include lowering the thermostat when leaving the house, wearing warmer clothes indoors, using cold rather than hot water whenever possible, using electrical kettle rather than boiling water in a pot, and washing clothes at low temperatures.

More tips can be found here in German, French, and Italian.

All of the above are recommendations at this point, but if the situation on the energy front deteriorates or shortages would occur, the Federal Council could implement “consumption restrictions, bans, and quota systems”.

How will authorities know whether you are complying with these recommendations?

Most likely they won't.

Authorities are hoping that everyone will follow the recommendations (or mandates, as the case may be) voluntarily, for the common good.

“It would be extremely difficult to impose this measure in private homes”, MP Christian Imark, who is also an energy expert, told Watson news portal in an interview.

“It is difficult to imagine that police officers with a thermometer would come and hand out fines if the temperature is one degree too high in the apartment”, he said.

The goal, according to Economy Minister Guy Parmelin, is “not to create a police state”.

 

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Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/09/01 11:29

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