Switzerland can prevent energy shortages by implementing the European Union's plan to cut gas consumption by 15% this winter, said Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga to the newspaper SonntagsBlick.
The situation is serious, she said adding that the Swiss Electricity Commission's call to households to stock up on candles in case of a power outage this winter was a wake-up call for everyone.
At the end of June, the Swiss government outlined plans to deal with a possible shortage of natural gas this winter and said it could resort to rationing if other measures proved insufficient.
Landlocked Switzerland receives gas through neighboring EU countries and the gas covers about 15% of its total energy consumption. According to the government, about 42% of the gas is used for residential heating, while the rest is used in industry, services and transport.
Asked if Switzerland should comply with an EU agreement requiring all countries in the bloc to voluntarily cut their gas use by 15% this winter, Sommaruga replied: It certainly makes sense. The Federal Council will decide.
The government will launch a campaign in this direction in the coming weeks, she said, and she will push for heating to be turned off in public buildings.