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Energy consumption down by 7.7% in 2014

Bern, 25.06.2015 - In 2014, Switzerland's final energy consumption fell by 7.7% to 825,770 terajoules (TJ) compared to the previous year. The warm weather experienced in 2014 had a significant effect on Swiss energy consumption.

At 825,770 TJ the final energy consumption in 2014 has reached the lowest level since 17 years. The last time a lower final energy consumption was recorded, was in 1997 (823,260 TJ). This fall in energy consumption by 7.7% was mainly due to the exceptionally warm weather in 2014. According to Meteo Schweiz, the national meteorology service, 2014 and 2011 were the warmest years on record since measurement began in 1864. Heating degree days, an important indicator for the amount of energy used for heating, decreased by 19.9% compared to 2013. Other factors, however, which influence the long-term growth trend of energy comsumption, have increased in 2014:  population (+1.2%), gross domestic product (+2.0%), number of homes (increase was seen, but detailed statistics are not available as yet), and number of motor vehicles (+1.6%).

Sharp drop in consumption of energy carriers for heating

The warm weather led to a significant decrease in consumption of energy carriers for heating purposes: Consumption of extra-light heating oil declining by 24.7% and that of gas by 11.3% compared to 2013. Electricity consumption decreased by 3.1% (see SFOE press release of 16 April 2015). However, consumption of energy generated from industrial waste (+13.2%) and from coal (+4.2%) increased. Consumption of heavy types of heating oil fell by 57.5%, and that of petroleum coke rose by 18.1%. 

Vehicle fuel consumption slightly down

Overall vehicle fuel consumption has slightly decreased compared to 2013 (-0.5%). The trend of substituting diesel for petrol as vehicle fuel continued unabated: Sales of diesel rose by 2.5% while petrol consumption fell again (-4.0%), a trend that has been observed every year since 2001. Sales of aviation fuel increased by 0.7%.

Renewable energy consumption down too

The warm weather in 2014 also affected the consumption of renewable energies used for heating. Consumption of wood for heating fell by 14.7%. A decline of 7.6% was also seen in the use of ambient heat with heat pumps and in the use of district heating (- 8.9%). In spite of the warmer weather, use of solar heating increased by 8.3%.

Direct use of biogas increased by 1.1%. Taking into account biogas fed into the natural gas mains (which is statistically entered as natural gas), use of biogas rose by 11.3%. The use of biofuels increased significantly by 81.3%.

Revision of fossil fuels data

Admixtures of biofuels to gasoline and diesel are gaining importance. Therefore, with retroactive effect as of 2008, the admixtures of biofuels will be deducted from the gasoline and diesel consumption values. The admixtures are now contained in the "other renewable energies" category under the heading "biogenic fuels". In comparison to the previous year, consumption data 2013 of gasoline are reduced by 130 TJ (- 0.1%) and of diesel by 430 TJ (- 0.4%).

Energy consumption in the industry and the service sector

The energy consumption of 19 industry and services groups, published annually by the SFOE, is based on a sample and an extrapolation procedure of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO). The definition and the data source of the employees in the Business and Enterprise Register, which forms the basis for the definition of the population used for the drawing of the sample, have been revised. This influences the extrapolation procedure and in particular the comparability of the results 2014 with previous years. The SFSO is currently examining, to what extent results can be made available, which allow a comparison of the energy consumption in the years 2013 and 2014 with a minimized impact of the revised framework conditions. Therefore, the energy consumption data by industry and services groups will be published by the end of September (instead of July).

The total energy consumption data of Switzerland and broken down by economic sectors are not affected by the SFSO examination. The necessary basis for compiling these statistics has been drawn from the available evaluations of the data.

Switzerland's overall energy statistics for 2014 will be available on Internet in the second half of July and in print from the beginning of August 2015. 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