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Energy consumption up by 2.5% in 2013

Bern, 26.06.2014 - Switzerland's final energy consumption increased by 2.5% in 2013 to 896,000 terajoules (TJ) compared to 2012. The main reason for the increase was the cold weather. Positive developments in the economy also contributed to greater demand as did the continuing growth in the population.

At 896,000 TJ the final energy consumption in 2013 was marginally less than the peak reached in 2010 (902,980 TJ). As in 2010 the winter of 2013 was cold. As a result heating degree days, which are an indicator of the amount of energy consumed for heating, were up by 5.8% compared to the preceding year. Further contributing to higher consumption were increases in the permanent population (+1.2%), in the gross domestic product (+2.0%), the number of motor vehicles (+1.6%) and the number of homes (no accurate statistics are available).

Increase in consumption of energy carriers for heating

The cold weather led to an increase in consumption of energy carriers for heating purposes: in comparison to 2012 consumption of extra-light heating oil rose by 5.4% and use of gas by 5.9%. Electricity consumption increased by 0.6% (see SFOE press release of 10 April 2014). Consumption of energy generated from industrial waste (+2.3%) and from coal (7.6%) rose too. Consumption of heavy types of heating oil fell by 41.2%, and that of petroleum coke by 23.4%. 

Vehicle fuel consumption unchanged

Overall vehicle fuel consumption remained unchanged when compared to 2012. The trend of substituting diesel for petrol as vehicle fuel continued unabated: Sales of diesel rose by 4.4% while petrol consumption fell again (-4.5%), a trend that has been observed every year since 2001. Sales of aviation fuel increased by 1.1%.

Renewable energy consumption also up

The effect of the cold weather is also reflected in the consumption of the renewable energy carriers which were used for heating. Use of wood for heating rose by 9.4%. A rise of 11.8% was seen in use of ambient heat with heat pumps compared to 2012, while consumption from district heating and solar heating plants also increased (+6.0% and +10.3% respectively).

Direct use of biogas increased by 0.6%. Taking into account biogas fed into the natural gas mains (which is statistically entered as natural gas), use of biogas rose by 7.1%. In contrast use of biofuels fell by 7.7%.

Amendment of the overall energy statistics for 1980-2012

The figures cited in the overall energy statistics for 2013 are based on the amended data published in May 2014 and are therefore only partly comparable with the figures published last year. The amended statistics contained new calorific values for combustibles, vehicle fuels and coal, updated data on power dissipation for natural gas and adapted figures for heating oil consumption (see SFOE press release of 2 May 2014).

Switzerland's overall energy statistics for 2013 will be available on Internet in the second half of July and in print from the beginning of August 2014. An initial summary of the statistics is available immediately (see attachment).

Address for enquiries:

Marianne Zünd, Head of Communication SFOE, 058 462 56 75 / 079 763 86 11


Swiss Federal Office of Energy