Energy consumption up slightly in 2019

Bern, 25.06.2020 - Switzerland's final energy consumption increased by 0.3% in 2019 to 834,210 terajoules (TJ) compared to 2018. One significant factor in the increase was the cooler weather experienced compared to that year.

The slight increase of 0.3% in final energy consumption over the previous year was mainly due to the colder weather: The number of heating degree days, a significant indicator of the amount of energy used for heating, rose by 6.1% compared to 2018. Other factors that determine the long-term growth trend in energy consumption also increased in 2019. The permanently resident population (+0.7%), gross domestic product (+0.9%), number of registered motor vehicles (+0.8%), and the number of homes (an increase was seen, but no detailed figures are available as yet). Increases in energy efficiency and effects seen from use of alternate sources of energy tend to stem the growth in energy consumption. The annual ex-post analyses (to be published in October 2020) will provide further information about the main factors influencing energy consumption.

Consumption of energy carriers for heating

The effect of the colder weather is not apparent to the same extent in all the energy carriers used for heating: gas consumption rose in 2019 by 2.6%, while use of extra-light heating oil fell by 2.3% compared to 2018. Electricity consumption also fell (-0.8%) (see the SFOE press release of 17 April 2020). These three energy carriers make up more than half of the final energy consumed (2019: 51.5%).

As in the previous year, use of industrial waste for heating increased in 2019 by 5.4% (proportion of final energy consumption in 2019: 1.4%). In contrast, consumption of coal and petroleum coke fell by 11.2% and 55.6% respectively and use of heavy types of heating oil remained unchanged at the same level as in 2018. The proportion these three energy carriers contributed to overall energy consumption is very low (<1%).

Vehicle fuel consumption unchanged

Petrol consumption fell slightly (-0.8%) while that of diesel remained stable (+0.04%). As in the previous year, an increase was seen in sales of aviation fuel (+1.0%). Overall fuel consumption remained unchanged at the same level as in 2018 (+0.02%). Fossil fuels provided one third (35.3%) of the final energy consumed.

Consumption of energy from renewables up

The effect of the cold weather was also reflected in the consumption of renewable energy carriers used for heating. Use of wood for heating rose by 1.1%. Use of ambient heat with heat pumps was 10.2% above the value for 2018, while consumption from district heating (+11.2%) and solar heating plants also increased (+1.5%). The proportion these three energy carriers contributed to overall energy consumption in 2019 amounted to 9.8%: (wood for energy production: 4.7%, ambient heat: 2.2%, district heating plants: 2.6%, solar heat: 0.3%).

Direct use of biogas rose by 2.7%. Taking into account biogas fed into the gas mains (counted as gas for statistical purposes), use of biogas rose by 6.0%. The share of the biogas fed into the mains in overall gas consumption was 1.1% in 2019.

In comparison to 2018, consumption of biogenic fuels increased once again (+3.7%) and the share of biogenic fuels in the overall turnover of petrol and diesel fuels was 3.7% in 2019. In addition to the abolishment of the petroleum tax on biogenic fuels, the fact that such fuels are now imputed to CO2 compensation measures has led to increased sales.

Switzerland's overall energy statistics for 2019 will be available in the second half of July 2020 on Internet and in print at the beginning of August. An initial summary of the statistics is available immediately (see attachment).

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Media service SFOE, 058 460 81 52


Swiss Federal Office of Energy

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