In Switzerland more than 40% of energy consumption and about a third of climate-damaging CO2 emissions are attributable to the building industry. Through the Building Programme the Federal Government and the cantons hope to reduce energy consumption considerably in the Swiss building industry and also lower CO2 emissions. This is why they subsidise the cost of the energy-saving renovation of buildings. The programme is partially financed by revenues from the CO2 levy on fuels. With the Energy Strategy more money is available from the CO2 levy for the Building Programme.
Tax incentives for building renovation
Investments carried out in buildings to improve energy efficiency are already tax-deductible today. With the implementation of new Energy Act, it is now also possible to deduct the costs of demolition to make way for a new building. Together with the costs of energy-related improvements, demolition costs can be deducted also in the next two tax periods if it is not possible to fully offset the expenditure in the year in which it was carried out. The aim here is to encourage total renovation instead of partial renovation, which until now has been more attractive in fiscal terms. Total renovation is more effective from the point of view of energy efficiency.
Emissions specifications for motorised vehicles
Motorised traffic accounts for more than a third of all energy consumption and CO2 emissions in Switzerland. Under the Energy Strategy 2050, current emissions specifications will be tightened. As a consequence, the accepted limit for CO2/km emissions for all new passenger vehicles on the road will be reduced to an average of 95g CO2/km by the end of 2020. New specifications will also be extended to delivery vehicles and light articulated trucks, which will be limited to an average of 147g CO2/km by the end of 2020. Both measures have been taken in accordance with EU law.
Programmes and projects which contribute towards more economical energy consumption in industry, the services sector and households are supported by competitive tenders. The promotional subsidies are awarded by auction. In this way projects and programmes with the best cost-benefit ratio get a chance to participate. The financing is covered by the grid surcharge that electricity consumers pay to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency. These promotional subsidies for competitive tenders are available until the year 2030 at the latest.