Around two thirds of the revenue from the CO2 levy is redistributed to the public and the business community through health insurers and the OASI compensation offices.
The CO2 levy is an incentive tax that has been imposed since 2008 with the goal of promoting the economical use of fossil thermal fuels. As of 2018 the rate of the levy is CHF 96 per tonne CO2. This results in an annual revenue of about CHF 1,2 billion.
A third of the revenue (max. CHF 450 million) flows into the buildings programme, with which the Confederation and cantons support energy-efficient renovations. Another CHF 25 million is transferred to the technology fund.
Around two thirds of the levy revenues are available annually for redistribution. The Confederation distributes the funds between the public and the business community in proportion to the levy revenues.
The levy revenues are distributed in the same year in which they incur. Because the actual receipts are not definite until the end of the year, the redistribution is based on an estimate. The difference between the estimated and actual levy revenue is balanced in the redistribution two years later.
Redistribution to the public
The revenue from the CO2 levy that is paid out to the public is redistributed uniformly to all residents of Switzerland, i.e., each person receives the same amount, regardless of his or her consumption.
The distribution of the levy revenues is carried out by health insurers. They have the most current address directory of Swiss residents since basic insurance is compulsory for all. This system incurs low enforcement costs and has already proven itself with respect to the redistribution of existing incentive taxes, including the incentive tax on volatile organic compounds (VOC).
The insured learn of the amount of the redistribution at the same time as they get the premium notice. The amount is settled against the health insurance premium.
Warum Sie 76.80 Franken erhalten (PDF, 77 kB, 24.08.2018)Merkblatt Rückverteilung der Umweltabgaben 2019 (available in German, French or Italian)
Redistribution to companies
The revenue from the CO2 levy paid by the economy is redistributed to all employers in proportion to the settled AHV payroll of their employees.
The AHV compensation funds distribute the funds on the FOEN’s behalf by offsetting or paying out the respective amount.
Since 2018, the redistribution generally takes place in September, thus three months later than in previous years. This shift is attributable to the fact that, as of 1 January 2018, the unused funds from the building programme will be redistributed to the population and companies. Because the amount of these additional funds is not known until the middle of the year, the redistribution has been postponed for three months.
Rückverteilung 2018 der CO2-Abgabe an die Wirtschaft (PDF, 208 kB, 15.06.2018)Faktenblatt (in German, French or Italian)
Data sheet population
Warum Sie 88.80 Franken erhalten (PDF, 74 kB, 09.08.2017)Merkblatt Rückverteilung der Umweltabgaben 2018
Fact sheet economy
Rückverteilung 2017 der CO2-Abgabe an die Wirtschaft (PDF, 139 kB, 28.02.2017)Faktenblatt (in German, French or Italian)
Last modification 28.09.2018