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ENERGY

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.

Swiss government confirms ‘sharp increase’ in electricity prices
Switzerland's electricity grid is intertwined with Europe's. Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

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.

READ MORE: Which Swiss cantons will see the biggest hikes in electricity bills?

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?

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ENERGY

Petrol prices fall in Switzerland — but will they continue to drop?

Switzerland’s consumers have not had any good news in months, as the cost of living has been increasing practically across all categories. But there is a positive development nevertheless.

Petrol prices fall in Switzerland — but will they continue to drop?

Swiss motorists might have noticed that the price of fuel at the pump has fallen slightly, from more than 2 francs per litre of unleaded 95 throughout the summer and at the beginning of September.

Market analysis carried out by Touring Club Suisse (TCS) motoring organisation confirms this trend.

Currently, a litre of unleaded 95 in Swiss filling stations costs on average 1.92 francs — around 15 cents less than at the beginning of September and 39 cents less than during the historic record in June.

Will this downward trend last?

For the moment, industry experts are not making any predictions, either way.

That’s because the price at the pump depends not only on the price of crude oil, but also on other factors, according to TCS.

They include — aside from geopolitical evolution in eastern Europe — transport costs, production rate, and the rate of the dollar.

Is it still cheaper to fuel up your car in neighbouring countries?

When the price of petrol exceeded 2 francs per litre in Switzerland, it made sense to buy gasoline across the border, especially when the franc gained strength against the euro in August. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What the weakening euro means for Switzerland’s residents

It may still be worthwhile, depending on the country.

In Germany, for instance, a litre of unleaded 95 costs on average 1.992, which is equivalent to the new price in Switzerland, according to TCS.

On the other hand, prices are lower in Italy (1.757), Austria (1.764), and, above all, France (1.57).

This TCS chart indicates per-litre prices in all European countries, which may help you decide were to buy petrol.

As for the cost of other energy sources, it is not expected to decrease any time  soon: on the contrary, forecasts call for higher prices.

READ MORE: Swiss government confirms ‘sharp increase’ in electricity prices

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