Swiss Government - "Does Your Neighbour Heat Their Apartment to Over 19 Degrees? Please Inform Us”

People in Switzerland who violate the country’s new heating rules, which forbid setting the temperature above 19 °C (66.2F) in the colder months, could face up to three years in prison.

Swiss people who heat their homes by over 19 degrees this winter in Violation of government’s instructions on gas shortage, could face a fine and a prison sentence of up to three years, Swiss Economic Department spokesman Marcus Sporandli told Blick newspaper on Tuesday.

This measure will apply only if the country is forced to ration gas due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

And this will not be the only restrictive measure: hot water can only be heated to 60 degrees, Radiant heaters will be banned. Saunas and swimming pools will also have to remain cool.

The Department of Economic Affairs (EAER) warning refers to an official document, although it is still a draft ordinance.

While there will not be widespread “hunting for energy criminals” and the police will not go door to door, There could be “selective control” local officials said.

“Violation of the national supply law is always a crime and must be punished by the canton,” Swiss daily Blick quoted Spondaly as saying. “In the meantime, Those who unintentionally violate this rule will also be punished with small fines”.

“The draft decree is based on the fact that the majority of the population comply with the laws,” he added.

Switzerland has no exploitable gas fields and is completely dependent on imports. Compared to Europe, Switzerland is among the countries with the lowest energy self-sufficiency. Internal power generation only accounts for about 25% of the energy needs. The remaining 75% is imported in the form of crude oil, petroleum products, gas, and coal.

Gas accounts for about 15% of national energy consumption (in the EU it is 22%) and about half comes from Russia.

Natural gas is mainly used for heating, and during the winter it heats almost one in five Swiss homes. In this context, it is also expected that Swiss consumers will see energy bills increase by about 27% in 2023.

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