Swiss town's energy prices to rise by a record 263 percent
While the cost of energy in Switzerland is rising across the board, some towns and cities are seeing prices skyrocket. That is the case in Oberlunkhofen, Canton Aargau, where the cost of electricity is set to rise by 263 percent in 2023.
Cost of electricity set to rise in Swiss cities
As the government announced its new plan to reduce energy consumption in preparation for possible shortages this winter, Blick reported that the price of electricity in Switzerland is also set to rise. According to the newspaper, the war in Ukraine, the threat of gas shortages and inflation are to blame for the high prices.
In major metropolitan areas like Geneva, Lausanne and Canton Vaud, prices “will increase by between 49 percent for the vast majority of our household customers, and 61 percent for customers with specific modes of consumption,” regional energy provider Romande Energie told The Local. Basel (42 to 46 percent), Zug (39 percent), and Zurich (26 percent) will also see significant price rises by 2023.
Locals in Swiss town set to see bills increase by 263 percent
However, while prices are expected to rise significantly in major metropolitan areas, the biggest increases have been recorded in the countryside. Near the border between Canton Zurich and Aargau, the small community of Oberlunkhofen will have to pay 263 percent more for power next year, the biggest energy price rise recorded in the alpine nation so far.
According to 20 minuten, an average household in the town will face additional costs of over 2.000 francs, with one family telling the paper that “the electricity price explosion will hit our young family hard financially.” “We have equipped all the light sources with LEDs. We will use the washing machine, dishwasher and refrigerators less,” they explained.
Entrepreneurs in the town have been hit equally hard, with Erich Sidler, a local wood processing magnate, admitting that if he hadn’t installed solar panels last year, “The additional costs would amount to 88.000 francs annually. This would endanger the existence of my company." Stefan Stuz, the owner of the local brewery, said that because of the price of electricity a bottle of beer will cost 40 rappen (cents) more to produce.
Delays and an unsent email to blame for the sky-high power prices
Speaking to 20 minuten, Hans Hagenbuch, the president of Oberlunkhofen Elektra - the local energy cooperative - explained that the company had purchased half the electricity required for 2023 at a low price earlier in the year. However, when prices started to rise to 30 rappen per kilowatt hour (kWh), and Elektra wanted to buy more, a crucial email failed to send to confirm the deal.
By the time they had realised their mistake and made the purchase, the price was 96 rappen per kWh. “We could never have expected something like this. It was a disaster,” Hagenbuch concluded. In a message to local residents, the president said, “Yes, we have done a bad job and we have to stand by it.”