Energy consumption down 0.4% in 2017

Bern, 21.06.2018 - Switzerland's final energy consumption fell by 0.4% in 2017 to 849,790 terajoules (TJ) compared to 2016. One significant reason for the decline in consumption was the slightly warmer weather experienced compared to that year.

The decline of 0.4% in final energy consumption over the previous year was due in the main to the slightly warmer weather experienced in 2017. The number of heating degree days, a significant indicator of the amount of energy used for heating, decreased by 1.5% compared to 2016. In contrast, increases were seen in factors which determine long-term growth of energy consumption: the permanently resident population (+0.9%), gross domestic product (+1%), number of registered motor vehicles (+1.2%), and the number of homes (an increase was observed, but no detailed figures are available as yet). Increases in energy efficiency and effects seen from use of alternate sources of energy tend to stem the growth in energy consumption. The annual ex-post analyses (to be published in October 2018) will provide further information about the main factors influencing energy consumption.

Consumption of energy carriers for heating

Consumption of extra-light heating oil fell by 6.5% while in contrast use of gas increased by 1.4%. Electricity consumption increased by 0.4% (see SFOE press release of April 20, 2018). These three energy carriers contributed more than half of the final energy consumed (2017: 53.4%). 

Use of industrial waste for heating has increased by 15.8% (proportion of final energy consumption in 2017: 1.5%).  As in the previous year, consumption of coal (-3.8%) and of heavy types of heating oil (-33.3%) has declined as has use of petroleum coke (-14.6%). The proportion these three energy carriers contributed to overall energy consumption is very low (<1%).

Slight decrease in vehicle fuel consumption

In comparison to 2016, overall vehicle fuel consumption fell by -0.6%. The trend of substituting diesel for petrol as vehicle fuel continued unabated: sales of diesel slightly decreased by 0.3%, while the petrol consumption fell by 3.1%. Sales of aviation fuel rose by 2.4%. Fossil fuels provided one third (34.1%) of the final energy consumed.

Consumption of energy from renewables up

The slightly warmer weather experienced in 2017 also had an effect on use of wood for energy production (-0.9%). Consumption of all other renewable energy carriers increased. Use of ambient heat with heat pumps was 4.5% above the figure for 2016, while consumption from district heating plants (+2.4%) and solar heating also increased (+2.4%). The proportion these three energy carriers contributed to overall energy consumption in 2017 amounted to 9.2%: (wood for energy production: 4.5%, ambient heat: 2.0%, district heating plants: 2.4%, solar heat: 0.3%).

Direct use of biogas rose slightly by 0.6%. Taking into account biogas fed into the gas distribution system (counted as gas for statistical purposes), use of biogas rose by 4%. Biogas fed into the distribution system constituted 0.9% of the overall gas consumption in 2017.

In comparison to 2016, consumption of biogenic fuels increased significantly once again (+58.1%) and has thus increased more than tenfold within the last four years. The proportion of biogenic fuels in the overall sales of petrol and diesel was 2.6% in 2017 (2016: 1.6%). Abolishment of the petroleum tax on biogenic fuels and the fact that such fuels are now imputed to the CO2 compensation measures has led to increased sales.

Switzerland's overall energy statistics for 2017 will be available on Internet in the second half of July and in print from the beginning of August 2018. An initial summary of the statistics is available immediately (see attachment).

Address for enquiries

Marianne Zünd, Head of Media and Political Affairs SFOE, 058 462 56 75 / 079 763 86 11


Swiss Federal Office of Energy