Switzerland to slash winter energy consumption – media

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The government wants to prepare for possible disruptions to gas supplies from Russia, Swissinfo reports

Switzerland’s Federal Council announced on Wednesday that it wants natural gas use in the country to be cut by 15% from October 2022 to the end of March 2023 compared to the average consumption of the last five years.

According to a Swissinfo report, in doing so the government is following the European Union, which set itself the same target a month ago to prepare for possible disruptions to Russian gas supplies.

Swiss households, industry, services sector and public institutions have reportedly been asked to turn down the thermostat. While heating accounts for three quarters of the gas consumed in winter, one degree less of heating could save 5% to 6% of energy, according to the government.

It has also encouraged voluntary switching of dual-fuel installations from gas to oil which could result in savings of up to 20% of total consumption.

Other energy-saving measures proposed by the council include unplugging of unused appliances and computers, efficient use of office spaces and working from home, said the report.

According to media reports, Switzerland developed an emergency plan last month in the event of an energy crisis if natural gas and electricity supplies run short. The plan includes several steps, ranging from a public awareness campaign with calls for energy saving, such as turning off shop window lights and heaters, to rationing electricity for about 30,000 large energy consumers.

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