Which Swiss towns consume the most electricity?

Which Swiss towns consume the most electricity?

A new study by the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has revealed the Swiss cities and towns which consume the most energy. On average, each person in Switzerland uses 5,7 megawatt-hours-worth of electricity per year, placing the alpine nation in the middle of the pack when compared to other European nations.

Energy Reporter 2023

In their Energy Reporter study for 2023, reported by Watson, the SFOE noted that in the last year energy consumption has dominated the news cycle in Switzerland. After Europe started to wean itself off Russian oil and gas, in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the Swiss government warned that gas shortages were a very real possibility in the winter of 2022 / 23.

This led authorities to issue voluntary, mandatory and emergency energy-saving plans - then Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga even suggested that people should shower together to save power. "Energy shortage" was also named Switzerland's word of the year for 2022.

While the country’s worst fears did not materialise, the SFOE noted that the crisis, and subsequent energy price rises, have made people a lot more aware of how much power they use on a daily basis.

Geneva consumes the least power per person in Switzerland

According to the study, each person in Switzerland uses an average of 5,7-megawatt hours of electricity per year. This places the alpine nation in the middle of the pack when it comes to power usage per capita in Europe - according to Statista, Iceland is on top with an average per capita consumption of 52,17-megawatt hours.

In terms of specific areas, the districts of Avully, Chancy and Onex in Geneva were found to use the least power per person at 1,9, 1,9 and 1,91-megawatt hours a year respectively. Watson explained that the good scores are down to the fact that the areas are very densely populated, are home to few international companies and factories, and residents use gas and oil instead of electricity to heat their homes.

Swiss town consumes near-double the power of other cities

On the flip side, the town of Deisswil bei Münchenbuchsee in Canton Bern is by far and a way the biggest consumer of electricity per capita in Switzerland. The town consumes 95,61-megawatt hours of electricity per person per year - more than double second and third place, Bosco / Gurin in Ticino and Riederalp in Valais with 40,20 and 39,05-megawatt hours per person per year respectively.

Now, before we all assume that the good people of Deisswil don’t know how to turn off their lights, ovens or space heaters at night, Watson had a clear and concise explanation. The small town of just 95 people plays host to a very large meat processing plant, which causes the area's per-capita consumption to skyrocket.

For the others in the top 10, the SFOE noted that all of them have either relatively small populations, are connected to high-consumption industries, have increased heating requirements by being located in the mountains, have power-guzzling attractions like ski resorts, or host a combination of all four.

10 most and least power-consuming towns in Switzerland

In all, here are the 10 Swiss towns with the highest electricity consumption per capita in megawatt hours (MWh):

  1. Deisswil bei Münchenbuchsee (Bern): 95,61 MWh
  2. Bosco / Gurin (Ticino): 40,20 MWh
  3. Riederalp (Valais): 39,05 MWh
  4. Eclepens (Vaud): 38,92 MWh
  5. Cerentino (Ticino): 38,50 MWh
  6. Bettmeralp (Valais): 35,90 MWh
  7. Bellwald (Valais): 35,69 MWh
  8. Campo Vallemaggia (Ticino): 33,25 MWh
  9. Novazzano (Ticino): 31,64 MWh
  10. Manno (Ticino): 31,51 MWh

In contrast, here are the 10 Swiss towns with the least power consumption per person:

  1. Avully (Geneva): 1,90 MWh
  2. Chancy (Geneva): 1,90 MWh
  3. Onex (Geneva): 1,91 MWh
  4. Oberengstringen (Zurich): 2,14 MWh
  5. Bettens (Vaud): 2,42 MWh
  6. Saubraz (Vaud): 2,48 MWh
  7. Staufen (Aargau): 2,53 MWh
  8. Veyrier (Geneva): 2,56 MWh
  9. Tasch (Valais): 2,60 MWh
  10. Act (Vaud): 2,61 MWh

Alongside revealing the most power-consuming towns, the Energy Reporter also provides data on how each Swiss council (Gemeinde) handles green-related issues such as the percentage of electric vehicles registered, the percentage of power provided by solar energy and the percentage of housing with eco-friendly heating. To see how your local area did, check out the official website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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