Energy sector

Heating system and energy sources

Although the use of heating oil has declined constantly over the past 40 years, in 2021, almost 60% of residential buildings in Switzerland were heated by fossil fuels (heating oil and gas). 17% of buildings were connected to a heat pump, a proportion that is rising sharply. 11.8% and 8% of buildings are heated by wood and electricity respectively.

Residential buildings by main energy source for heating
  1990  2000 2021
  as % as % as %

Heating oil

58.5

55.7

40.7

Gas

8.5

13.7

17.6

Energy sources for heat pumps1)

1.9

4.1

17.0

Wood

17.2

13.0

11.8

Electricity

12.0

11.4

8.0

District heating

1.1

1.4

3.6

Others2)

0.8

0.7

1.2

1) Energy sources for heat pumps are, for example, air, geothermal energy or water.
2) Solar thermal, other energy sources or no energy source.
Sources: FSO - Federal Population Census, Buildings and dwellings statistics

Almost two-thirds of buildings have a boiler. These usually run on heating oil, gas or wood.

Residential buildings by main heating system, 2021
  as %

Boiler

64.3

Heat pump

17.0

Electric heating

8.0

Stove heating

6.2

Heat exchanger

3.6

Solar collector

0.3

Other heating systems

0.2

No heating system

0.3

Source: FSO - Buildings and dwellings statistics

Heating oil is the main energy source for heating in buildings built before 2001, whereas less than 2% of buildings built since 2011 are heated by oil. Heat pumps are used in almost three-quarters of buildings built since 2011 but in less than 6% of buildings built before 1971.

In most cantons, the oil-heating share ranges from 30 to 50%. The canton of Basel-Stadt is an exception with a share of 11.1%. The share of gas varies widely along an urban-rural divide. While it is more than 40% in the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Geneva, it is almost zero (0.1%) in the cantons of Obwalden and Uri. The share of heat pumps is highest in the canton of Fribourg (32.2%) and lowest in the canton of Basel-Stadt (2.7%).

Close to 40% of the population have oil heating. The share of people heating with gas or heat pump is 24.9% and 16.4% respectively.

Energy source for hot water

In Switzerland, in 2021, hot water was produced by electricity in 31.3% of residential buildings. With a 29.9% share, oil is the second energy source for hot water.

Residential buildings by main energy source for hot water
  1990 2000 2021
  as % as % as %

Heating oil

39.7

38.0

29.9

Gas

7.5

11.2

14.6

Energy sources for heat pumps1)

1.1

1.7

12.4

Wood

5.3

4.3

4.8

Electricity

43.0

40.4

31.3

District heating

0.9

1.4

2.8

Other2)

2.4

3.1

4.1

1) Energy sources for heat pumps are, for example, air, geothermal energy or water.
2) Solar thermal, other energy sources and no energy source
Sources: FSO - Federal Population Census, Buildings and dwellings statistics

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Federal statistical office Section Population
Espace de l’Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel
Switzerland

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