Energy consumption higher than ever

Bern, 28.06.2011 - In 2010, Switzerland’s overall energy consumption rose to the new record level of 911,550 terajoules, an increase of 4.4% over 2009. The main causes were the much colder weather, positive developments in the economy and continuing growth in the population.

At 911,550 terajoules (TJ), Switzerland's final energy consumption in 2010 was 4.4% higher than in 2009 and significantly higher than the previous record level attained in 2008 (895,250 TJ). The demand for energy was driven by three main factors:

  1. The weather was much colder than in the previous year (energy for heating): the number of heating degree days increased by 12.7% compared to 2009.
  2. The positive economic developments after the downturn in 2009 (demand for energy by commerce and industry): Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.6% in 2010 compared to a 1.9% decline in 2009.
  3. Population growth (energy for cooking, lighting, building technology, IT and communications systems): the resident population increased by 1.0%, the number of motor vehicles by 1.6%.

Increases in the combustibles, vehicle fuels and electricity sectors

Consumption of the combustibles extra-light heating oil (+5.5%) and gas (+10.8%) increased sharply while consumption of vehicle fuels rose only slightly. Sales of diesel (+3.9%) and aviation fuel (+5%) increased substantially whereas the consumption of petrol fell (-3.6%). The trend to substitute petrol with diesel as a vehicle fuel continued unabated. Demand for heavy heating oil declined sharply (-17.7%) while more petroleum coke was burned (+23.3%). Electricity consumption rose by 4.0% (see the media release of 13.04.2011).

Increased consumption of renewable energies

In 2010, 7.7% more energy was produced from wood. There was a major increase of 21.1% in the use of ambient heat using heat pump technology again underlining the clear trend toward this type of heating. High growth rates were experienced in the district heating (+12.7%), solar heat (+13.5%) and biogas (+7.3%) sectors. After a sharp decline of almost 29% in 2009, biofuels made a strong comeback with a 20.0% increase. Use of industrial waste (+5.8%) and coal (+2.1%) to produce energy also increased although there had been a decline in the previous year.

Please note: Adaptation of statistics for cogeneration plants

Beginning with the current overall energy consumption statistics, the energy consumed by heat and power cogeneration plants (CG) will no longer categorised as energy consumed by industry but rather as energy for energy conversion; gas, extra-light, medium and heavy heating oil, industrial waste and wood are all used as energy sources in the operation of CG plants. Revising the statistics in this manner guarantees Switzerland's overall energy statistics remain consistent with the international standards (IEA, EU and UNO). This year the statistics dating back to 1999 have been adapted. Those dating back to 1990 will be recalculated next year.

This adaptation of the statistics has no effect on Switzerland's overall energy CO2 balance because the energy balance and thus the CO2 emissions of the energy industry remain unchanged.

The Swiss Overall Energy Statistics 2010 will be released in print and on the Internet at the beginning of August 2010. Until then the initial summary is available at

Address for enquiries

Marianne Zünd, Head of Communication BFE, 031 322 56 75 / 079 763 86 11


Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Last modification 05.01.2016

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