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Swiss companies and towns join forces to save energy

Switzerland continues to look for ways to save on electricity and gas this winter. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

Switzerland has launched an Energy Saving Alliance of companies, government, cantons, civil society and municipalities in an effort to preserve gas and electricity supplies over the winter.

The Alpine state is among many European countries facing power shortages following Russia’s decision to cut off gas supplies.

Swiss Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga and Economics Minister Guy Parmelin introduced the new alliance on Thursday.

The voluntary initiative has started with 180 organisations from the public and private sectors committing to reduce their power consumption.

Swiss Federal Railways, for example, has stated it will turn down heating on trains while several municipalities have announced initiatives to save on gas and electricity.

The Energy Saving Alliance is designed to complement an existing campaign, called “Energy is scarce, let’s not waste it”, which urges households to conserve energy.

On Wednesday, the government presented plans to create a network of reserve power stations. This complements a range of other measures, including an increase of hydropower capacity and emergency bailout funds for struggling power companies.

Officials say that water levels at hydropower plants are currently at normal levels, but the weather will have a say in how Switzerland copes with potential energy shortages in the coming months.

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