Swiss government confirms ‘sharp increase’ in electricity prices
While the increase in energy costs in 2023 is not exactly a surprise for most people in Switzerland, now the Federal Council has also confirmed this information.
The approximately 630 Swiss electricity operators had until August 31st to inform their customers, as well as the Federal Electricity Commission (Elcom), of their tariffs for 2023.
Based on this new data, the Federal Council announced on Tuesday that “Swiss electricity prices will rise sharply for households in 2023”.
Exactly how sharply?
"A typical household will pay 26.95 centimes per kilowatt hour, which corresponds to an increase of 27 percent”, authorities said. “However, the differences can be much greater at the local level".
The government goes on to give an example of a "typical" Swiss household, which usually consumes 4,500 kWh per year, and whose energy costs will rise by 27 percent in 2023.
This corresponds to an annual electricity bill of 1,215 francs — 261 francs more than currently.
"However, prices sometimes vary considerably between network operators within Switzerland”, the government noted.
As The Local recently reported, “price disparities among Swiss electricity suppliers are significant, so the amount of the increase will depend not only on your place of residence and the size of your dwelling, but also on the production capacity of the local electricity provider".
According to a report by RTS public broadcaster, “some own many power stations and produce the electricity they sell themselves. They are therefore much less dependent on the European market. Conversely, those who produce no kilowatt-hours are now bearing the full brunt of the energy crisis”.
One provider in western Switzerland, Romandie Energie, called the upcoming increases “historical”, with tariffs for parts of Vaud, for instance, rising "by between 49 percent for the vast majority of our household customers, and 61 percent for customers with specific modes of consumption” — meaning those who use a lot of energy.
Substantial increases — between 42 and 46 percent —will also hit Basel residents, as well as those living in Zug (39 percent).
In other parts of the country, hikes will be more in line with the government’s announcement: about 22 percent in Geneva, and 26 percent in Zurich and Lausanne.
This government link shows the new rates for your community.
When it comes to energy prices, these increases can’t, for once, be blamed on the country’s notoriously high cost of living.
As the Federal Council explained, Swiss electricity market is closely linked to the European market, where electricity price are also soaring.
“Many electricity supply companies purchase a large part of their electricity from the wholesale market. Due to higher market prices, they now have higher energy supply costs, which they then pass on to customers, that is private households, through higher tariffs».
READ MORE: What are Swiss cities doing to save energy?