People in Switzerland advised to buy wood and candles to prepare for blackouts

People in Switzerland advised to buy wood and candles to prepare for blackouts

To prepare for possible power shortages, the president of the Federal Electricity Commission has advised people in Switzerland to stock up on firewood and candles this winter. Speaking to NZZ am Sonntag, Werner Luginbühl conceded that temporary power cuts are still possible in the coming months and that it was important for families and individuals to take necessary precautions.

Switzerland must prepare for possible power outages this winter

In the interview, Luginbühl said that people in Switzerland have to start thinking about and preparing for how they would cope with a power outage “lasting several hours.” Politicians and experts have warned in recent months that rolling blackouts could be possible this winter, as gas shortages across Europe impact Switzerland.

The head of the commission said that it was advisable to have enough candles in the house to provide lighting during the blackouts. For those who own or rent a house or apartment with a log-burning fire, Luginbühl recommended stocking up on firewood to provide heating.

Swiss government considers new policies to reduce energy consumption

According to NZZ am Sonntag, the government is considering a number of measures designed to ease the electricity shortages. These include reducing the amount of lighting on streets, and banning lights in closed shop windows, the use of snow canons in Swiss ski resorts, and the sale of electric heaters.

According to 20 minuten, the recent warnings from experts have piled pressure on Federal Councillor and Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, who has faced criticism for her reaction to the crisis. Stella Jegher, from Pro Natura, condemned the government's “inaction” on the looming power shortages, claiming that industry, commercial businesses and private households could save a third of their electricity with proper policies and advice.

However, despite the impending threat of energy and gas shortages, chief economist at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Eric Scheidegger said that there is “no reason to fear” a sustained economic downturn this year. However, the economist conceded that the country will have to "live with economic peaks and troughs" over the next year and suggested, "A temporary increase in health insurance subsidies or an increase in AHV, pensions and supplementary benefits" to help residents cope with higher prices.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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