Swiss households invest less in energy-efficient appliances than would be optimal for achieving their energy targets. This is even the case when energy-efficient appliances have lower costs over their entire service life. A white paper from the SCCER CREST research center, where the University of Basel is Leading House, shows why this is the case and how this energy efficiency gap can be reduced.

Households are the largest sector in terms of energy consumption. They account for around 50% of total energy consumption in Switzerland. The potential for reducing energy consumption in households is correspondingly high. However, households invest too little in energy-efficient appliances. They do not always opt for efficient appliances, even if they are cheaper than less efficient ones over their entire service life. This phenomenon is called the “energy efficiency gap”.

The SCCER CREST White Paper examines selected measures and makes recommendations. For example, energy labels should be based on absolute energy consumption and include information on energy costs and life cycle costs. Free online learning courses or online calculators for calculating life cycle costs should provide low-threshold access to information. Energy efficiency standards would help remove the least efficient products from the market.

In addition, energy suppliers can use demand-side management to help their customers save energy directly. CO2 levies and bonus-malus measures can promote the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles. Last but not least, all energy policy measures should also be made widely known through information campaigns