In connection with the debate on global climate change, the fact that in the next few years Switzerland will not only have to deal with the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, but will also have to overcome the threatening scarcity of available energy, is often pushed into the background. Thus a reduction of energy consumption in Switzerland not only helps in the struggle against climate change, it also reduces energy scarcity here and lessens the country's dependence on the supply of energy from abroad.
Increasing the degree of energy efficiency is the most important means of reducing energy consumption without incurring losses in terms of quality and comfort. A higher level of energy efficiency means consuming less energy while continuing to obtain the benefits to which we are accustomed (e.g. availability of lighting, heating, electric motors). Increased energy efficiency results in three main benefits: higher economic efficiency, reduction of scarcity of energy resources, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy consumption. The reduction of energy consumption by increasing the degree of energy efficiency also means that meeting a significant proportion of Switzerland's energy requirements through the use of renewable forms of energy in the future will be a realistic option.
The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) therefore supports the development, distribution and use of technologies aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, as well as measures to rectify the lack of information about energy efficiency in private households and the economy. The SFOE also contributes towards the promotion of energy production from renewable sources, so that the balance of the requirement for energy in the future can largely be met in a renewable form.