Average electricity consumption in Switzerland
Whether at home, in the office or in public institutions, electricity is an essential part of our everyday lives. Power consumption varies considerably according to household, lifestyle and the energy efficiency of appliances used.
What is the average electricity consumption in Switzerland, and where do we fall within the overall picture? In this article, we look at the average electricity consumption in Switzerland and offer useful insights to help you get a better understanding of your own consumption and ways of reducing it if necessary. Knowing how things stand raises awareness of energy efficiency and helps reduce energy consumption.
Average electricity consumption for Swiss households
When talking about average electricity consumption in Switzerland, we have to take various factors into account, including the size of the household. Electricity consumption can vary greatly depending on whether you live alone, as a couple or as a family with children. But what are the average consumption levels, and how do you compare?
To answer these questions, we’ve looked at a study carried out on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE). This study determined the typical electricity consumption of various sizes of households in Switzerland, for detached houses as well as homes in apartment buildings. The following table presents the key information at a glance:
|Household size||Average electricity consumption||Household type|
|1 person||2'700 kWh/year||Detached house|
|1 person||2'200 kWh/year||Apartment building|
|2 people||3'550 kWh/year||Detached house|
|2 people||2'750 kWh/year||Apartment building|
|4 people||5'200 kWh/year||Detached house|
|4 people||3'850 kWh/year||Apartment building|
Source: Typischer Haushalt-Stromverbrauch (J. Nipkow), Bundesamt für Energie August 2021
These values can help you get a read on your annual electricity consumption and see where you stand compared to the average. They also offer a good starting point for looking for ways to reduce your electricity consumption. Every kilowatt hour is precious, so any savings we can make will reduce our impact on the environment.
How can I find out how much electricity I’m using?
Find out your electricity consumption to work out your own annual figure. You can find this important information in various places:
1. Your electricity meter: The standard way of determining your own electricity consumption is to look at your electricity meter. This device measures the amount of electrical energy your household uses. However, reading your electricity meter isn’t always intuitive and can vary depending on the type of meter. You also need to take meter readings regularly to determine your consumption over a certain period of time.
2. Your electricity bill: Your electricity bill usually contains a breakdown of your consumption. Although this information won’t be as up-to-date as taking a meter reading yourself, it is clearer and easier to understand.
3. Your electricity provider’s customer portal: Many electricity providers offer their customers access to an online service where you can see and examine your electricity consumption.
4. Smart meters: Use of smart meters is on the rise as the energy industry undergoes its digital transformation. They measure and record electricity consumption at regular intervals (often every 15 minutes) and transmit the data digitally to your energy supplier. A smart meter allows you to monitor your consumption in real time and respond to any changes quickly. This can help identify the appliances that consume the most electricity in your home.
Regularly monitoring your electricity consumption is the first step towards reducing your energy costs and your environmental footprint. Let’s use the resources and technology at our disposal to actively address our electricity consumption.
Which appliances consume the most electricity?
The SFOE study mentioned above reveals how household electricity consumption breaks down according to usage. A typical household (two people in an apartment building) uses almost half of its energy on cooking, washing up, washing and drying. The percentage distribution of electricity consumption is similar for those living in detached houses:
32% for cooking, washing up and refrigeration
16% for washing and drying
19% electronics (entertainment and office)
10% assorted small appliances, including vacuum cleaner
13% general electricity (building technology, excluding heat pumps)
The breakdown was determined based on appliances found in a typical Swiss household. The calculation assumes a high (but not the highest) efficiency class and an appliance age of six years.
Appliances that are rarely found in typical households were not taken into account, such as aquariums, water beds, gaming computers in constant use, or dehumidifiers.
Understanding which appliances and activities account for the greatest share of electricity consumption allows us to take more targeted measures towards reducing the amount of electricity we use. These can include everything from simple steps such as switching off lights when they are not needed to major changes such as replacing old appliances with more energy-efficient models.
In this age of climate change and finite resources, being aware of our energy consumption is more important than ever. This starts with knowing and understanding our own consumption. The next step is to take active measures to reduce our consumption. This article offers some practical tips for sustainable living.