The regulations governing the electricity networks are based on Article 91, paragraph 1 of the Federal Constitution, according to which the federal government issues regulations relating to the transmission and distribution of electricity. The Electricity Supply Act regulates the most important aspects of electricity supply, including the responsibilities of the network operators and the chargeability of costs. The Electricity Act forms the basis for specifying the applicable safety requirements for electrical installations, as well as for defining the licensing procedures for these facilities.
Responsibilities in the electricity networks sector
Network operators are responsible for ensuring the availability of safe, adequate and efficient networks. National grid operator Swissgrid AG is responsible for the operation of safe, reliable and efficient transmission networks (380/220 kV). The SFOE provides an energy scenario framework as the basis for the planning of the electricity networks. It is also responsible for developing the Transmission Lines sectoral plan. The Federal Inspectorate for Heavy Current Installations ESTI (or the SFOE, if the Inspectorate is unable to successfully mediate objections or disputes) is responsible for planning approval of electrical systems. The Federal Electricity Commission (ElCom) is the official regulatory authority in the electricity sector. It monitors compliance with the provisions of the Electricity Supply Act and the Energy Act, and is empowered to take formal decisions and issue official rulings.