Swiss energy consumption down 3.9% in 2022

Bern, 22.06.2023 - In 2022 Switzerland's final energy consumption decreased by 3.9% year-on-year to 765,070 terajoules (TJ). The main reason for this is the warmer weather compared to the previous year.

The decrease in final energy consumption of 3.9% compared to the previous year is primarily due to the warmer weather. The number of heating degree days, an important indicator of energy consumption for heating purposes, decreased by 17.2% year-on-year. The Confederation's energy savings campaign and the significant increase in energy prices likely contributed to reduced energy consumption in 2022 as well. Factors that determine the long-term growth trend in energy consumption, however, increased slightly: the permanent resident population (+0.8%), gross domestic product (+2.1%), the number of motor vehicles (+0.5%) 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 2023).

Fuel consumption up slightly

Fuel consumption in 2022 clearly reflected the recovery of air traffic after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aviation fuel sales increased by 76.1% year-on-year, but were still below 2019 levels. Petrol and diesel consumption, on the other hand, decreased by 1.4% overall in 2022 (petrol: -2.9%, diesel: -0.2%) and remained below their 2019 levels. Fossil fuels accounted for about one third (33.5%) of total final energy consumption.

The consumption of biogenic fuels increased compared to the previous year (2.1%), after decreasing in 2020 and 2021. Their share of total petrol and diesel sales also increased slightly to 3.4% (2021: 3.3%).

Decrease in energy use for heating

The warm weather caused a significant decrease in energy consumption for heating purposes. Consumption of extra-light heating oil fell by 19.5% and that of natural gas by 17.0% compared to the previous year. Electricity consumption also decreased (-1.9%) (see SFOE press release of 20 April 2023). These three energy sources account for approximately half of final energy consumption (2022: 51.5%).

The use of industrial waste to generate energy decreased slightly (-0.8%). However, consumption of coal and petroleum coke rose by 4.1% and 21.7% respectively, and as in the previous year there was no consumption of heavy fuel oil. The share of these three energy sources in total final energy consumption is very low (<1%).

Consumption of renewable energies also declines

The warmer weather also affected all renewable energy sources for heating purposes. Consumption of energy wood and district heating decreased by 12.0% and 7.5% respectively. The use of ambient heat with heat pumps also decreased (-4.5%). The consumption of solar heat remained at the previous year's level (-0.4%). These energy sources represent 11.3% of total final energy consumption (energy wood: 5.4%, ambient heat: 2.7%, district heating: 2.8%, solar heat: 0.3%).

The direct use of biogas rose by 0.5%. There was a 6.2% increase in biogas consumption when taking into account the biogas fed into the natural gas grid (which is statistically accounted for under gas). The share of biogas fed into the grid rose to 1.3% of total gas consumption (2021: 1.1%).

The Swiss Overall Energy Statistics 2022 will be available online from the second half of July 2023 and in printed form at the beginning of August. Switzerland's energy balances for the years 1980-2022 will now also be published in a machine-readable format in accordance with open government data (OGD) guidelines. An initial summary overview is now available (see attachment).

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Swiss Federal Office of Energy