Since 2010, the Swiss federal and cantonal buildings programme has been promoting the energy-efficient renovation of buildings as well as renewable energies, waste heat recovery and the optimisation of building services technology. The buildings programme has made an important contribution to the fulfilment of Switzerland’s national climate goals.
The buildings programme is implemented where it will have the greatest impact: buildings are responsible for around one quarter of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of energy consumption in Switzerland. People who renovate their properties efficiently can reduce their heating requirements and the associated CO2 emissions by over 50%. In this way, home owners not only benefit from significantly lower heating costs, they also increase the market value of their properties and contribute to active climate protection.
One third of the CO2 levy earmarked for the buildings programme
The CO2 Act provides the legal basis for the buildings programme. The CO2 levy on combustible fuels is enshrined in this legislation. Since 2010, one third of the proceeds from the CO2 levy – a maximum of CHF 450 million – have been used annually for the buildings programme and the promotion of geothermal energy. Unused funds are redistributed to the economy and population. The buildings programme is not subject to a time limit.
Contribution of the cantons
The funds for the buildings programme are paid to the cantons in the form of general financial aid. To qualify for receipt of the funding, the cantons must have a building envelope subsidy programme, which is based on the cantons’ harmonised funding model (HFM 2015). The general contributions are subdivided into a basic contribution per inhabitant and a complementary contribution. The maximum basic contribution per inhabitant is 30 % of the available funds. The complementary contribution must not exceed twice the credit authorised by the canton for its programme.
Joint effort by the Confederation and cantons
The buildings programme was developed jointly by the cantons and the Confederation – represented by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) is responsible for the strategic management of the programme and the cantons are responsible for its implementation.
Last modification 17.12.2020