Energy is dealt with in Chapter 7 of the systematic collection of federal legislation under the general heading, "Public works, Energy, Transport and Communications".
The main spheres of activity within the Swiss Federal Office of Energy are referred to in the following sections. The Energy Act and its associated ordinance bear section numbers 730 and 730.01, which form the legal basis for the implementation of the SwissEnergy programme. Nuclear energy is dealt with in section 732, electrical installations in section 734 and pipelines (gas and oil) in section 746.
The provisions governing the utilisation of hydropower are laid down in the Federal Hydropower Act (721.80) and its associated ordinances. The security of dams is covered by the Hydraulic Engineering Act (721.10) and the Dams Ordinance (721.102).
In certain cases, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy is the relevant authority for approving plans for systems intended for the transport of energy, e.g. pipelines and electricity transmission lines. In the latter area it deals with plans for which the technical authority, the Federal Inspectorate for High-Current Installations, has not been able to overcome opposition. In the area of nuclear energy, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy is responsible for issuing certain permits, namely those concerning the transport of nuclear fuels. In the area of utilisation of hydropower, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy is the highest supervisory authority, is responsible for licensing procedures realting to hydropower plants located on the country's borders, and directly supervises major dams.