Swiss face higher utility bills and rents as cost of heating oil climbs

Swiss face higher utility bills and rents as cost of heating oil climbs

The Tenants' Association of Switzerland has warned that rising costs for energy and heating oil will lead to higher utility bills and rents in the future. The price of heating oil - essential for heating most houses in Switzerland - has risen by 50 percent in the last year, leading to higher costs for landlords, tenants and homeowners.

Swiss rent costs may rise due to utility costs

The cost of heating oil has been rising throughout 2021, which the government blames on high prices abroad, increased freight costs and a strong Swiss franc compared with the US dollar. A 3.000-litre tank - used for heating a single-family house - now costs 3.150 Swiss francs to fill, 50 percent more than last year.

Heating oil is used in many types of housing in Switzerland for hot water and heating. The President of the Swiss Homeowners' Association, Hans Egloff, noted that it is difficult to say how high the additional costs for consumers will be, but estimated that a standard family house consumes around 3.000 litres of oil a year, which in theory would increase annual utility costs by over 1.000 Swiss francs.

Tenants association predicts heightened utility prices

The President of the Tenants' Association of Switzerland and member of the Council of States, Carlo Sommaruga, said that renters in Switzerland will "definitely" face a "significant increase in ancillary costs,” but that the increase will be different for each tenant. The cost increase will be determined by the advance payments made for utilities, what is included in the tenant's rental contract, insulation in the rented house or apartment, and the type of boiler being used.

In reaction to the current crisis, Sommaruga called for price controls on the cost of heating and said that each utility bill should be checked by a tenants association. He also noted that many apartments are currently heated too much, and savings can be found by “lowering the temperature in the apartments by a degree or two.”

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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