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23 Sep, 2022 06:11

Swiss hospitals advised to cut power use

The move could help prevent energy rationing in the country in winter, the government says
Swiss hospitals advised to cut power use

Swiss medical institutions should consider reducing electricity consumption amid the worsening energy crisis, Bastian Schwark, head of the energy department at the country’s Federal Office for National Economic Supply has said.

“Hospitals are exempt from electricity and gas quotas but they can also consider how they can reduce their electricity consumption,” Schwark told the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung on Wednesday.

He added that even in a critical industry such as pharmaceuticals, cost-saving measures could be implemented without significant cuts to production.

“Currently, almost every industry requires exceptions for itself. But this is not the right approach. Rather, each industry should think about what it can do in a critical situation,” Schwark said, adding: “This could be, for example, reducing hours of work. If this will cut electricity consumption by another 10-20%, we will postpone the introduction of quotas.”

Last month, Switzerland’s Federal Council announced that it seeks to cut natural gas use in the country by 15% from October 2022 to the end of March 2023, compared to the average consumption of the last five years. The decision was explained as an attempt to prepare for possible disruptions to gas supplies from Russia.

The Swiss authorities have developed an emergency plan in the event of an energy crisis if natural gas and electricity supplies run short. The plan includes several phases, ranging from a public awareness campaign with calls for energy saving, such as turning off shop window lights and heaters, to rationing electricity for about 30,000 large energy consumers.

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