Electricity consumption down by 1.9% in 2022

Bern, 20.04.2023 - In 2022 electricity consumption in Switzerland was 57.0 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), a drop compared with the previous year (-1.9%). Domestic production (after deduction of electricity consumed by storage pumps) was 57.9 billion kWh. The physical electricity import surplus was 3.4 billion kWh.

Domestic consumption in 2022 lay at 61.3 billion kWh. After deduction of losses occurring in transmission and distribution of 4.3 billion kWh, the actual electricity consumption amounted to 57.0 billion kWh, which is 1.9% or 1.1 billion kWh less than in 2021 (58.1 billion kWh) (approximately corresponding to the annual consumption of 220,000 households). Year-on-year changes were +1.2% in the first quarter, -0.3% in the second, -0.6% in the third and -7.2% in the fourth quarter.

General economic and population development led to an increase in consumption in 2022. However, rather warm weather, efficiency improvements and a campaign to conserve energy all worked to reduce demand.

  • Development of the economy: Switzerland's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 2.1% in 2022, according to initial provisional statistics (source: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO).
  • Population development: According to the provisional statistics issued by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on 4 April 2023, the population of Switzerland increased by 0.82% in 2022.
  • Weather: In 2022, the number of heating degree days was down 17.2% compared to the previous year (see table in appendix). Since about 10% of the electricity consumed in Switzerland is used for heating, this led to a decrease in consumption.

The annual retrospective analyses of energy consumption will be able to provide further information on the factors influencing developments in electricity consumption (publication in October 2023).

Domestic electricity production in 2022

Electricity production (domestic generation) decreased by 1.1% to 63.5 billion kWh in 2022 (2021: 64.2 billion kWh). After deduction of 5.6 billion kWh used by storage pumps, the net electricity generated amounted to 57.9 billion kWh. The country's production was below the corresponding value of the previous year in three of four quarters (-10.3%; -2.2%; -1.5%; +11.6%).

Hydropower plants (fluvial and storage power plants) generated 15.2% less electricity than in the previous year (fluvial plants -8.7%, storage power plants -20.1%). In the first and third quarters, hydropower plants produced significantly less electricity than in the corresponding quarters of the previous year (-22.4% and -23.0%, respectively). NB: Nant de Drance, the new pumped-storage power plant, has been included in electricity statistics since July 2022.

Electricity production at the four Swiss nuclear power plants increased by 24.7% to 23.1 billion kWh (2021: 18.5 billion kWh). This was due to factors including the refurbishment project at the Leibstadt nuclear power plant, which shut down the plant for several months of the previous year in order to replace the condenser and modernise the circulation system. These renovations in turn slightly increased output and reduced internal consumption. In 2022, the availability rate of Switzerland's nuclear power plants was 89.5% (2021: 71.9%).

Hydropower plants contributed 52.8% to overall electricity production (fluvial plants 24.4%, storage power plants 28.4%), while nuclear power plants supplied 36.4% and conventional thermal and renewable energy plants generated 10.8%.

Import surplus in 2022

With physical electricity imports of 33.1 billion kWh and exports of 29.7 billion kWh, the balance for 2022 was an import surplus of 3.4 billion kWh (2021: import surplus of 2.4 billion kWh). In the first and fourth quarters (winter quarters) Switzerland imported 5.6 billion kWh net (2021: 5.7 billion kWh); in the second and third quarters it exported 2.2 billion kWh net (2021: 3.3 billion kWh).

Revenue from trade-based electricity exports amounted to CHF 8,420 million (26.69 Rp./kWh ), according to data from the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (FOCBS). Expenditure of CHF 8,349 million (23.42 Rp./kWh) was incurred for trade-based electricity imports. In 2022 Switzerland thus had a small positive foreign trade balance of CHF 71 million (2021: negative foreign trade balance of CHF 258 million) [Source: FOCBS / swissimpex; as at: 1 April 2023]. It is remarkable that prices have more than doubled compared to the previous year.

Address for enquiries

SFOE Media Office, Tel. +41 (0)58 460 81 52


Swiss Federal Office of Energy