Swiss Energy Minister Simonetta Sommaruga stated that her country could potentially avoid an energy shortage by agreeing to and following the European Union’s plan to cut gas use by 15% this winter, Reuters reported.
This comes as EU member states formally approved the bloc’s emergency plan to reduce gas consumption in an effort to stockpile fuel for a winter with unclear Russian supplies.
The advice from Switzerland’s electrical commission for people to store up on candles in case of blackouts this upcoming winter was “a wake-up call for everyone,” Sommaruga said in an interview with the SonntagsBlick newspaper, adding that the situation was serious.
The Swiss government announced plans to manage a potential natural gas shortfall this winter in late June and warned that, if other measures proved ineffective, rationing might be used.
When the minister questioned whether Switzerland should abide by the EU’s decision to require all member states to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15% in winter, Sommaruga responded: “Certainly, it makes sense. Federal Council will make the choice.”
She said that she would press for the heating to be reduced in public buildings and that the government will launch a campaign in that direction in the upcoming weeks.