Energy For Members

Energy crisis: Fake Swiss billboard urges residents to snitch on neighbours

Helena Bachmann in Geneva
Helena Bachmann in Geneva - [email protected] • 13 Sep, 2022 Updated Tue 13 Sep 2022 12:07 CEST
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Fake poster encourages snitching of neighbours. Image by Sabine van Erp from Pixabay

An official looking poster is asking Switzerland’s residents to report all those who overheat their homes.


The message that appears on a billboard in some of the German-speaking regions says: “Does your neighbour heat his apartment above 19 degrees? Inform us”.

It also mentions a reward of 200 francs as an incentive for reporting those who use excessive amounts of heating.

In the upper left corner, there is an official logo of Switzerland’s government and the telephone number of the Energy Ministry is listed for snitchers to use.


But while the number is real, the message is not.

“The government has no such posters, nor do we ask people to report such things to us”, according to Simone Hug, spokesperson for the Energy Ministry, which is now looking for pranksters behind the ad.

That may not be totally true, though.

As recently as August 24th, Switzerland’s Economy Minister Guy Parmelin  said during a press conference about forthcoming energy-saving measures that while the government doesn’t want “to create a police state” to make sure everyone is keeping their electricity use to a minimum,  “if someone is breaking the rules, they will be reported by the neighbours".


READ MORE: What the Swiss government is asking you to do to save energy




Helena Bachmann in Geneva 2022/09/13 12:07

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