Energy field

Heating system and energy sources

Almost 90% of 1.5 million Swiss residential buildings that are the main place of residence for at least one person have a central heating system which covers one or more buildings. Less than 5% are connected to district heating.

Although the use of heating oil is continuously declining, almost two out of three buildings are heated by fossil fuels (heating oil and gas). Since 2000 the number of heat pumps has increased considerably. Nowadays almost one in every five buildings has this type of heating.

20% of all buildings have a secondary energy source, which is wood for over half of them.

Residential buildings by heating system, 2017
  as % IC*
Central heating 89.2 0.6
District heating 4.2 0.4
Other heating system 6.3 0.4
None 0.3 0.1
This information concerns residential buildings as main place of residence for at least one person.
* Confidence interval: ± (in percentage points)
Source: FSO - Survey on the energy sources of residential buildings
Energy sources used for heating, 2017
  Main energy
source
Secondary energy source
  in % IC* in % IC*
Heating oil 39.4 0.7 1.2 0.2
Gas 20.7 0.6 0.4 0.1
Electricity   6.9 0.4 2.7 0.3
Wood   10.1 0.5 12.0 0,6
District heating 4.2 0.4 0.0 0.0
Solar collector 0.3 0.1 2.8 0.3
Heat pump 17.9 0.5 0.5 0.1
Other    0.3 0.1 0.8 0.2
None   0.3 0.1 79.6 0.9
This information concerns residential buildings as main place of residence for at least one person.
* Confidence interval: ± (in percentage points)
Source: FSO - Survey on the energy sources of residential buildings
Main energy sources used for heating
  1990 2000 2017
  as % as % as % IC*
Heating oil 60.9 57.8 39.4 0.7
Gas 9.2 14.6 20.7 0.6
Electricity   10.7 9.8 6.9 0.4
Wood   15.5 11.5 10.1 0.5
District heating 1.2 1.5 4.2 0.4
Solar collector 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.1
Heat pump 2.0 4.4 17.9 0.5
Others    0.4 0.1 0.3 0.1
None    0.0 0.2 0.3 0.1
1990, 2000: This information concerns residential buildings in which at least one person has their civil domicile.
2017: This information concerns residential buildings as main place of residence for at least one person.
* Confidence interval: ± (in percentage points)
Sources: FSO - Population census, Survey on the energy sources of residential buildings

Energy sources for hot water

For many years the main energy sources for hot water were electricity and heating oil. In recent years their importance has declined in favour of heat pumps, gas and solar installations.

Energy sources for hot water, 2017
  Main
energy source
Secondary
energy source
  as % IC* as % IC*
Heating oil 26.7 0.7 1.3 0.2
Gas 16.7 0.6 0.7 0.2
Electricity   32.7 0.8 7.9 0.5
Wood   4.0 0.4 1.3 0.2
District heating 2.3 0.3 0.1 0.1
Solar collector 2.9 0.3 4.7 0.4
Heat pump 13.1 0.6 0.7 0.2
Others    0.9 0.2 0.3 0.1
None    0.5 0.2 83.0 0.9
This information concerns residential buildings as main place of residence for at least one person.
* Confidence interval: ± (in percentage points)
Source: FSO - Survey on the energy sources of residential buildings

Main energy sources for hot water
  1990 2000 2017
  as % as % as % IC*
Heating oil 41.6 39.5 26.7 0.7
Gas 7.8 11.7 16.7 0.6
Electricity   41.7 39.0 32.7 0.8
Wood   5.4 4.3 4.0 0.4
District heating 1.0 1.5 2.3 0.3
Solar collector 0.1 0.2 2.9 0.3
Heat pump 1.2 1.8 13.1 0.6
Others   0.1 0.6 0.9 0.2
None 1.2 1.4 0.5 0.2
1990, 2000: This information concerns residential buildings in which at least one person has their civil domicile).
2017: This information concerns residential buildings as main place of residence for at least one person.
* Confidence interval: ± (in percentage points)
Sources: FSO - Population census, Survey on the energy sources of residential buildings

Change in source of data

The main data source for the Buildings and dwellings statistics (BDS) is the Federal Buildings and Dwellings Register (BDR). This register is mainly updated with data from planning permission notifications (new buildings, conversions and demolitions) sent to the FSO by the communal and cantonal building services. Information about changes in the heating system or energy source are not always collected as the relevant legislation varies widely between cantons and communes and in a great number of cases the services concerned are not notified of any changes. The accuracy of information on energy related data cannot therefore, be guaranteed due to the current process for updating the BDR.

Because of this lack in information, the FSO has decided to no longer publish BDS statistics on energy. As far as the BDR is concerned, measures are taken to update energy data by using complementary sources.

In order to meet the need for up-to-date data in the energy sector, a survey (SETW) was conducted in 2017 on the heating systems in residential buildings that are the main place of residence for at least one person. The same survey also covers information on the energy source used for heating and hot water (as a reminder, the BDS covers all residential buildings). Based on a sample, results can only be published at national level.

Register-based statistics will be published again once the BDR data has been updated for the whole of Switzerland. Until this has been done, only data from the SETW survey will be published.

Statistical sources and concepts

Contact

Federal statistical office Section Population
Espace de l’Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

info.gws@bfs.admin.ch

Remark

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