Swiss energy consumption up 6.3% in 2021
Bern, 23.06.2022 - In 2021 Switzerland's final energy consumption increased by 6.3% year-on-year to 794,720 terajoules (TJ). The main reasons for this are the colder weather compared to the previous year and the easing of COVID-19 pandemic containment measures.
The 6.3% increase in final energy consumption compared to the previous year is mainly due to two factors. First, the easing of pandemic restrictions led to a general increase in energy consumption. Secondly, the significantly colder weather compared to the previous year contributed to an increase in the consumption of heating energy sources. The number of heating degree days, an important indicator of energy consumption for heating purposes, increased by 15.3%. Factors that determine the long-term growth trend in energy consumption also increased slightly: the permanent resident population (+0.8%), gross domestic product (+3.7%), the motor vehicle stock (+1.1%) and the housing stock (increase; no detailed figures yet available). Meanwhile, efficiency gains and substitution effects are helping to slow down growth in energy consumption. The annual retrospective analyses will provide further information on the factors influencing developments in energy consumption (publication in October 2022).
Fuel consumption up slightly
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fuel consumption was still particularly evident in 2021. While sales of aviation fuel increased by 11% year-on-year, consumption levels were still less than half of those in 2019. Petrol and diesel consumption increased by 1.6% overall (petrol: 2.2%, diesel: 1.1%), although this is still about 7% below 2019 levels. Fossil fuels accounted for about one third (29.3%) of total final energy consumption.
As in the previous year, the consumption of biogenic fuels fell compared to the previous year (-9.5%), having increased steadily from 2014 to 2019. Their share of total petrol and diesel sales also fell slightly to 3.3% (2020: 3.7%).
Increase in energy use for heating
The cold weather led to a significant increase in energy consumption for heating purposes. Consumption of extra-light heating oil rose by 10.9% and that of natural gas by 8.3% compared to the previous year. Electricity consumption also increased (+4.3%). These three energy sources account for more than half of final energy consumption (55.3%).
The use of industrial waste to generate energy increased by 3.6% (share of final energy consumption: 1.5%). Coal consumption also increased slightly (+1.1%). There was no consumption of heavy fuel oil grades, however, and consumption of petroleum coke fell by 14.3%. The share of these three energy sources in total final energy consumption is very low (<1%).
Increase in consumption of renewable energies
The cold weather also affected all renewable energy sources for heating purposes. Consumption of energy wood and district heating increased by 16.4% and 9.7% respectively. The use of ambient heat with heat pumps also increased sharply (+17.7%). The consumption of solar heat remained at the previous year's level. These energy sources represent 11.8% of total final energy consumption (energy wood: 5.8%, ambient heat: 2.8%, district heating: 2.9%, solar heat: 0.3%).
The direct use of biogas rose by 2.7%. When the biogas fed into the natural gas grid (which is statistically accounted for under gas) is considered, there was a 1.6% increase in biogas consumption. The share of biogas fed into the grid was 1.1% of total gas consumption (2020: 1.2%).
The Swiss Overall Energy Statistics 2021 will be available online from the second half of July 2022 and in printed form at the beginning of August. An initial summary overview is now available (see attachment).
Address for enquiries
Marianne Zünd, Head of Media and Politics SFOE, 058 462 56 75,
Swiss Federal Office of Energy