Incentives to Waste Energy in Federal Laws

Incentives to Waste Energy in Federal Laws

Wed, Mar 6th 2024

A recent study highlights how federal laws in Switzerland inadvertently encourage energy waste, revealing a significant opportunity for energy conservation.


Many federal laws boost energy consumption instead of reducing it. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Swiss Energy Foundation (SES). It identifies 112 false incentives. Seven of them alone have a savings potential of five percent of total energy consumption.

This corresponds to nine to ten terawatt hours per year wasted. By comparison, the Leibstadt AG nuclear power plant supplied almost 9.7 terawatt hours of electricity in 2023.

As a result, there is a great need for action. If all 112 disincentives were eliminated, the savings potential would tremendous. Two-fifths of the disincentives have a high to very high impact on energy consumption.

If the federal government were to eliminate them, Switzerland could easily save a lot of energy, the Energy Foundation noted. In addition, the federal government could save a lot of money, collect more taxes and the whole country would benefit from better air quality, for example.

SES recommends that the Federal Council, parliament and administration systematically gear legislation towards security of supply, climate protection and energy saving. The study “Misguided incentives in energy consumption – analysis of federal legislation” was written by the consulting firm EBP.


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