The Swiss federal and cantonal buildings programme began in 2010. Since then it has been promoting the energy-efficient renovation of buildings and investment in 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 wherever 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 have been earmarked for the buildings programme. Since 2018, a maximum of CHF 450 million from the CO2 levy may be used annually for the buildings programme and the promotion of geothermal energy. In addition, the buildings programme has been extended beyond 2019. Unused funds are redistributed to the economy and population.
End of subsidy in sight
If the cantons implement and refine their model provisions consistently, the funding provided under the buildings programme will become unnecessary. For this reason, in the context of its post-2020 climate policy, the Federal Council suggests that the partial earmarking of the funds be lifted at the end of 2025: this will be debated by Parliament in 2018.
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 (Harmonisiertes Fördermodell der Kantone, HFM 2015). The general contributions are subdivided into a basic contribution per inhabitant and a supplementary contribution.
The maximum basic contribution per inhabitant is 30% of the available funds. The supplementary 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 01.10.2018