Indicator Climate

Energy efficiency of buildings

Switzerland’s building stock is responsible for around one-third of CO2 emissions. This means it is a sector with great potential for reducing emissions. The federal and cantonal Buildings Programmes subsidises various measures to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of buildings. One-third of CO2 levy proceeds, and a maximum of CHF 450 million (since 2018), has been earmarked for this programme annually. Cantonal credits are also added to that amount (approximately CHF 80 million per year).

Beyond the Buildings Programme, the Minergie® standards also encourage energy efficiency in buildings. These voluntary construction standards stand for high energy efficiency and low greenhouse gas emissions.

Assessment of the state
poor poor
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
Central heating 2018: 7.4112866 New construction 2018: 16.373829 Systems renovation 2018: 35.213822 Building systems 2018: 36.7125696 Thermal insulation 2018: 108.09345685 Central heating 2017: 8.782262 New construction 2017: 12.39623 Systems renovation 2017: 14.53954 Building systems 2017: 36.07429 Thermal insulation 2017: 102.4527 Central heating 2016: 9.931499 New construction 2016: 12.79711 Systems renovation 2016: 9.682437 Building systems 2016: 35.86792 Thermal insulation 2016: 93.38596 Central heating 2015: 9.995632 New construction 2015: 15.1974 Systems renovation 2015: 16.61678 Building systems 2015: 36.66348 Thermal insulation 2015: 100.1883 Central heating 2014: 12.57477 New construction 2014: 19.00882 Systems renovation 2014: 13.55411 Building systems 2014: 41.81314 Thermal insulation 2014: 152.1115 Central heating 2013: 12.30051 New construction 2013: 14.00224 Systems renovation 2013: 10.69504 Building systems 2013: 42.50868 Thermal insulation 2013: 131.0325 Central heating 2012: 9.810502 New construction 2012: 14.81777 Systems renovation 2012: 9.610313 Building systems 2012: 45.17386 Thermal insulation 2012: 174.034 Central heating 2011: 8.82238 New construction 2011: 14.80281 Systems renovation 2011: 6.531529 Building systems 2011: 44.36226 Thermal insulation 2011: 135.4913 Central heating 2010: 11.153129 New construction 2010: 10.977986 Systems renovation 2010: 3.501873 Building systems 2010: 43.52288995 Thermal insulation 2010: 23.079794
Subsidies paid under the Buildings Programme, by category of measures

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: BFE
Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2018: 546.10907443093 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2017: 491.54494687749 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2016: 435.72472282168 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2015: 379.64182632496 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2014: 319.60141222515 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2013: 247.14952316003 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2012: 180.78616233076 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2011: 110.27431839745 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2010: 46.879110466124 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2018: 546.10907443093 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2017: 491.54494687749 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2016: 435.72472282168 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2015: 379.64182632496 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2014: 319.60141222515 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2013: 247.14952316003 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2012: 180.78616233076 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2011: 110.27431839745 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme 2010: 46.879110466124
The long-term CO2 effect of the Buildings Programme represents the emissions savings made possible by the subsidised measures since 2010 over their entire service life.

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOE (2017 annual report of the Buildings Programme)
Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2018: 52597 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2018: 740764 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2017: 91331 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2017: 737710 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2016: 116219 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2016: 649343 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2015: 139114 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2015: 694784 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2014: 109288 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2014: 425251 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2013: 38408 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2013: 586546 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2012: 50836 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2012: 557755 Minergie-A®  (including Minergie-A-Eco®) 2011: 6910 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2011: 481444 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2010: 334240 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2009: 241363 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2008: 184373 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2007: 59035 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2006: 42687 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2005: 20379 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2004: 23445 Minergie-P® (including Minergie-P-Eco®) 2003: 25485
Energy reference area in new and renovated buildings with Minergie-P® or A® standards

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: Minergie®
Comment

In 2018, the amount of subsidies paid under the Buildings Programme totalled just over CHF 204 million (Fig. Funded measures). The annual amounts paid under the programme increased considerably in the first three years. Since 2013, these amounts have remained relatively stable. The majority of the subsidies are generally allocated to thermal insulation in buildings. Thus, over CHF 996 million has been paid to subsidise this type of work since 2010. Work on building systems is also frequently subsidised by the programme. This work mainly involves replacing oil heating systems with heat pumps.

In terms of the effects on CO2 emissions, when taking into account the subsidised measures since 2010 over their entire service life, the emissions savings made possible by the programme amount to over 0.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year (Fig. Effects on CO2 emissions). For the sake of comparison: According to the national greenhouse gas inventory, annual CO2 emissions from Switzerland’s building stock decreased by 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 from 1990 to 2017. With a long-term effect of now 0.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, the Buildings Programme is an extremely important climate and energy policy instrument.

As for the Minergie-P® standard, the energy reference area of built or refurbished buildings according to this standard has been growing steadily (Fig. Buildings meeting the Minergie standards®). The annual growth rate increased markedly between 2007 and 2012. Since 2011, the energy reference area according to the Minergie-A® standard has also increased.

In general, some consistency can be seen in the annually allocated amounts under the Buildings Programme. Since the effect of the measures extends over several years, the cumulative effect increases every year. The trend is therefore assessed as positive. However, because the great potential for reducing emissions in the buildings sector is far from being achieved, the state is assessed as negative.

Method

The CO2 effect of the Buildings Programme has been calculated since 2017 based on the cantons’ harmonised funding model (ModEnHa 2015). It takes the energy and CO2 savings generated per subsidised measure into consideration. These savings are significantly higher than the effect represented here and directly attributable to the Buildings Programme. Some project owners have actually implemented certain energy measures without a subsidy (deadweight effect). The represented effect of the Buildings Programme corresponds to the energy or CO2 savings of subsidised projects, minus the deadweight effects.

Data for buildings carrying Minergie-P® and -A® certification are surveyed and published by Minergie®. Minergie® is a registered association whose membership includes the Confederation, the cantons, trade and industry and numerous individual members.

Basis for assessment of the trend

 Long-term CO2 effects of the Buildings Programme

Targeted trend Initial value Final value Variation in % Observed trend Assessment
Growth Average 2010-2012 Average 2016-2018 336% Growth positive

 Energy reference area of Buildings meeting the Minergie standards®

Targeted trend Initial value Final value Variation in % Observed trend Assessment
Growth Average 2010-2012 Average 2016-2018 66.85% Growth positive
 
Last updated on: 10.03.2020

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