Research - 22.05.2014 - 00:00 

Approval of the nuclear phase-out

The 4th Customer Barometer for Renewable Energies reveals what Swiss customers currently think about the issue of energy. In the survey, 77 per cent of households completely or partially approve of a medium-term nuclear phase-out.
Source: HSG Newsroom


23 May 2014. The Customer Barometer is based on a representative survey of 1,264 private households in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. The academic aspect was managed by the Good Energies Chair for the Management of Renewable Energies at the University of St.Gallen. Raiffeisen funded the organisation of the survey and assisted in its configuration. A comparison between the current answers and last year’s demonstrates how attitudes change over time.

A majority for the nuclear phase-out

Customers say: more government!

In this year’s survey as in the two previous years, about 80 per cent of the interviewees wished for more government support for investments in renewable energies. A comparison with preceding years reveals that although the approval rate was generally high, there was a slight shift over time: from 2012 to 2013 and from 2013 to 2014, the number of people who approved decreased by four and two per cent, respectively. This may well reflect the fact the in the period under observation, development funds were indeed made available at an increased rate at various political levels and that – for instance in the waiting list for feed-in remuneration at cost (KEV) – the organisational challenges arising from all this came to light and were discussed in critical terms.

The fact that four out of five of the Swiss households interviewed favour an increase in government funding of renewable energies contradicts the often-heard demands from business circles and the energy industry for “more market”. Particularly in connection with feed-in remuneration at cost, these voices occasionally caution against the adverse consequences of state intervention, often combined with the creed that a development “like in Germany” or a kind of “de-industrialisation” ought to be avoided. The representative survey results show that the average Swiss household has a pragmatic view of the relationship between the market and the state.

Diffusion of renewable energies reaches the mainstream

The diffusion of renewable energies continues. In the 2012 survey, 41 per cent of the house owners interviewed indicated that they used renewable energy technologies, i.e. solar thermal energy, photovoltaics, wood pellets, geothermal pumps and air heat pumps, in their own houses. In this year’s survey, this proportion was already 46 per cent. When it came to the overall optimisation of the energy standards of their houses, private households had so far been less active than they had been with investments in specific renewable energy technologies.

Photo: PNetzer /