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Switzerland could align with EU energy saving drive, energy minister says

Environment, Energy and Transport Minister Simonetta Sommaruga in Switzerland, addresses a session at the Bundeshaus, Bern, Switzerland, 2 May, 2022.

Switzerland could avoid an energy shortage by joining a European Union plan for cutting gas consumption by 15% this winter. Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga spoke to SonntagsBlick.

The European Union’s emergency plan to reduce gas consumption was adopted by the bloc on Friday. This was in an effort to conserve fuel during a winter with uncertain Russian supplies.

Sommaruga stated that “the situation is serious” and added that the call from Switzerland’s electricity commission to households for candles to be stored in case of blackouts this winter was “a wake up call for everybody”.

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The Swiss government presented plans in June to deal with a possible shortage of natural gases this winter. It also suggested that it could resort to rationing if other measures fail to work.

Gas is used to cover around 15% of the country’s energy consumption. Landlocked Switzerland receives its gas through trading hubs in EU countries. According to data from the government, 42% of gas is used for heating homes and the remainder in industry and the transport sector.

Sommaruga was asked if Switzerland should follow the EU’s request to all member countries to cut their gas consumption by 15% for the winter. The Federal Council will make the final decision.

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She said that the government would launch a campaign to this effect within the next weeks, and that she would push to have the heating turned down in public buildings.

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EU Reporter publishes articles from a variety of outside sources which express a wide range of viewpoints. The positions taken in these articles are not necessarily those of EU Reporter.

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