Saving energy – the Confederation leads the way

Bern, 29.06.2016 - By the end of 2015 the civil federal administration, the DDPS, the ETH Domain, and the parastatal entities Swiss Post, SBB, Skyguide and Swisscom, had all improved their energy efficiency by 26.7% over 2006, the base year for measurement. They are thus providing proof of the role model function they undertook to fulfil in a joint declaration of intent issued in 2014.

The civil federal administration, the DDPS, parastatal entities and the ETH Domain are jointly responsible for 2% of the overall Swiss energy consumption. This corresponds to about 1.5 times the energy production of the Mühleberg nuclear power plant. Looked at from this point of view, these actors all bear a great responsibility with respect to increasing energy efficiency. To show they are prepared to do just this, in November 2014 they signed a joint declaration of intent and founded the group, "The Confederation: exemplary in energy". According to the declaration of intent and based on figures from 2006, the actors agreed to increase their energy efficiency by 25% by 2020. Thirty-nine common measures were defined, and a target achievement rate of 80% was set which should be achieved by 2020. In addition, each actor undertook to implement 15 sector-specific measures.

By the end of 2015, the participating organisations and companies had improved their energy efficiency by 26.7%, which means the efficiency target for 2020 has already been surpassed. However, now is not the time to slacken off because without further effort there is no guarantee that this rate can be attained, or even exceeded, in the coming year. Another factor is that the 39 measures had only been implemented to 67% by the end of 2015. So, here too, much remains to be done. The share of renewable energy sources used was 59% at the end of 2015.

Tool box

It is not only these seven actors that will have to improve their energy efficiency. The intention is for other companies and organisations close to the State to join the Confederation: exemplary in energy group. Public and private organisations interested in the scheme will also be able to adopt some of the measures. To this end they can contact the office at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (see below). A tool box, which is being steadily enlarged, has been made available on the home page as an aid to participants in the scheme. The tool box highlights good practice and tools to provide examples of how to proceed.

Highlights of The Confederation: exemplary in energy 2015

Skyguide: Maintenance of instrument landing systems using drones lowers CO2 emissions
Until now maintenance of automatic landing systems at major Swiss airports has been carried out by means of calibration flights performed at various heights and angles. This procedure is expensive and causes greenhouse gas emissions and noise during low traffic periods at the airports. The number of calibration flights will be reduced by one third by 2020 and by 60% from 2023 by using drones equipped with measuring instruments.

Swiss Federal Railways SBB: Customers help to save energy
The SBB owns 272 escalators, which consume 5 GWh of electricity every year. Various measures to reduce the energy consumption of these installations have already been implemented. A recuperation method is currently being tested: when the escalator transports people to the lower floor the electrical motor functions as a generator and feeds electricity into the grid.

Swiss Post: Alternative propulsion in Swiss Post's fleet
Energy efficiency and the implementation of renewable energy sources are the focus of attention this year at Swiss Post. The change to the electro-scooter fleet for post delivery will be concluded this year. Tests will continue to evaluate the use of other categories of scooters and of newer models.

Address for enquiries

Marianne Zünd, Head of Media + Politics SFOE
058 462 56 75; 079 763 86 11,

Office for the Exemplary Role of the Confederation in Energy ERCE
Olivier Meile, phone 058 462 56 99,


Swiss Federal Office of Energy