Did you know that buildings account for around 45 percent of energy consumption in Switzerland? In total, our properties “devour” around 100,000,000,000 kilowatt hours of energy. By way of comparison, one kilowatt hour can keep an energy-saving lamp burning for around 90 hours. Buildings that are a bit outdated and in need of energy refurbishment are particularly high consumers. They are not only a burden on the climate and in terms of energy use, but also impact the owner’s wallet due to the increase in energy prices. More than ever, therefore, the question arises as to how the energy consumption of a house or apartment can be sustainably reduced.
Reducing energy consumption: what modernization can achieve
Do you live in an older house with low energy efficiency and wonder how you can reduce energy consumption thanks to modernization or renovation work? We show you where the biggest savings can be made and where you can obtain subsidies and financing solutions.
Modernization and renovation of older houses offer great energy savings potential
It should first be pointed out that houses and apartments that have not yet been renovated have great potential for energy savings. By implementing targeted measures, energy consumption can be reduced by half or more. The following illustration from SwissEnergy helps to identify where energy savings can be applied. It shows where and how much of the energy supplied for heating, hot water and electricity is used or lost in the form of heat.
Where the energy disappears to
According to SwissEnergy, about 25 percent of the energy supplied for heat and electricity is lost through the exterior walls, 13 percent through the windows, and 17 percent through the attic or roof. About ten percent escapes through leaks or inefficient ventilation, and nine percent through the floor.
These measures can halve energy consumption
This is how five to ten percent of total energy consumption can be saved:
- Correct adjustment and maintenance of the heating system
- Replacement of outdated windows
- Insulation of the basement ceilings or of the floors
- Controlled ventilation of the apartment
- Installation of a thermal solar system
- Reduction of electricity consumption
This is how ten to 20 percent of total energy consumption can be saved:
- Insulation of the exterior walls
- Insulation of the roof or attic
- Replacement of the heating system
Useful to know
You should also consider the possibility of generating some of the energy you need yourself with your own photovoltaic system and take advantage of all the opportunities to save electricity.
Information material about reducing energy consumption by means of modernization
The brochure on renovating buildings and halving energy consumption published by the Conference of Energy Specialists at SwissEnergy provides tips on how to modernize houses to make them more energy efficient.
The cantonal building energy certificate (GEAK), which is standardized throughout Switzerland and assesses the quality of the building envelope and the overall energy efficiency of the building technology, helps you make decisions about building renovation.
When can you expect to receive funding?
In Switzerland, there are various financial incentives that specifically promote private investment in sustainable building renovation or new construction. These are often regulated on a cantonal basis. One important instrument is the Confederation and cantonal building programme. This provides subsidies for energy-efficient construction measures, such as installing better insulation or switching to renewable energies for heating.
Should you buy old or new property? These are the advantages of a new building in terms of energy efficiency
You don’t have your own four walls yet, but would like to purchase residential property in the near future? These advantages speak in favour of a new building in terms of energy efficiency:
- Modern buildings are generally characterized by low overall energy requirements
- The running costs are generally lower
- Modernization work is not necessary in the next ten to fifteen years
Useful to know
At PostFinance, you will find the right financing solution for your new home as well as for renovation projects. Make your property dreams a reality.