Switzerland reduces thermostats in government buildings

FILE PHOTO: Windmills are seen near the Nufenen Pass in Gries

Swiss bureaucrats will have to wear warm clothes this winter after the government decided to heat public buildings no more than 20°C (68°F) to save energy.

The measures approved by the Cabinet on Friday concern federal office buildings, universities and military buildings. The goal is to save 6-10% of the energy used to heat federal buildings.

Other measures include turning off the hot water as much as possible, lowering thermostats at night and on weekends, and turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.

Administrative work has to be reduced between Christmas and New Years to keep fewer buildings open.

The government launched a voluntary campaign last month to urge consumers and businesses to save energy as gas and electricity shortages threaten this winter that could lead to rationing in the worst case.

Across Europe, countries are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and replenish gas supplies in preparation for a possible shutdown. Measures include lowering thermostats and turning off lights in public buildings.

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