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Government eyes energy savings

Energy consumption in public buildings is much too high, the government believes. It hopes a new nationwide initiative, unveiled on Friday, will lead to savings of SFr200 million ($112 million) a year.

The 10-year "energo" project, sponsored by the Energy Ministry, sets out new methods for managing energy consumption in public buildings, including schools and hospitals.

It offers participants technical assistance, analysis of energy data, software, information and regular checks on energy savings.

The project is seen as one of the cornerstones of future energy policy in Switzerland. The ministry says energy savings of between 15 and 20 per cent can be achieved with very little investment.

It said that under a previous energy-saving drive, savings of about SFr15 million ($8.4 million) were realised in more than 200 hospitals.

The Energy Ministry says most of the savings can be made through minor changes to the way the public institutions operate. It now wants to extend the programme to other public buildings, including schools and universities.

Under the scheme, 80 per cent of the savings realised will be retained by the participant, with 20 per cent going to the government.

swissinfo with agencies

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