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To finance the cost-covering remuneration for electricity from renewable energies and the additional green energy-promoting measures of the revised Energy Act, since 1 January 2009, a surcharge has been levied on every kilowatt hour used. The Energy Act (Art. 15b Para. 4) stipulates that this surcharge must not exceed 0.6 cents and will be set at an appropriate level each year by the Federal Office of Energy. In 2009, the surcharge was set at 0.45 cents per kilowatt hour.
The Federal Office of Energy today decided that the 2010 surcharge is to remain at 0.45 cents per kilowatt hour. This will generate around 265.5 million Swiss francs to finance all the measures set out in the Energy Act. Of this, around 35 million francs will be allocated to financing additional costs (15 cents per kWh) in accordance with Art. 28a of the revised Energy Act. In 2010, cost-covering remuneration will demand around 130 million francs. The remainder will be channelled into provisions for risk insurance for geothermal projects (Energy Act, Art. 15a) and reserves for reimbursements to large-scale consumers (Energy Ordinance, Art. 3l), and competitive tenders (Energy Act, Art. 7a, Para. 3).
The revised Energy Act stipulates that electricity production from renewable energies must be increased by at least 5.4 billion kilowatt hours by 2030. This corresponds to around 10% of current electricity consumption (2008: 58.7 billion kilowatt hours). For this purpose, the Energy Act contains a package of measures aimed at promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency in the electricity sector, the mainstay of which is the cost-covering remuneration scheme for electricity generated from renewable energies.
The maximum surcharge of 0.6 cents may only be levied once the registered plants with a positive decision have been built, are feeding electricity into the grid and are already in receipt of the cost-covering remuneration.