The completely revised Federal Energy Act was adopted by Parliament on 30 September 2016 and entered into force on 1 January 2018 after passing a referendum on 21 May 2017. This 30 September 2016 version of the Energy Act superseded the Energy Act of 1999, which in turn had replaced the Decree on Energy Use of 1991.
The completely revised Energy Act aims to ensure an economically and environmentally viable supply and distribution of energy, thrifty and efficient energy consumption and a transition towards renewable energy supply, particularly from local sources. The act defines non-binding targets for overall energy and electricity consumption for 2020 and 2035.
The act specifies the principles of feed-in of electricity, self-consumption, and the feed-in tariff system as well as investment grants related to PV, hydroelectricity and biomass. Special provisions are made for hydro-power and geothermal energy.
The act also specifies the ficing method, a grid surcharge which is capped at CHF 0.023 per kWh transmitted via the transmission grid; no feed-in tariffs will be granted to plants that come on-line after 31 Dec. 2023. The act also specifies exemptions and reimbursements in relation to the grid surcharge. The act confers the right to the government to issue directives regarding the energy consumption of goods produced in series; energy demand in buildings as well as supply; and self-consumption of commercial entities.
The act specifies the rules regarding measures for support and encouragement in line with the objectives of the Energy Act. The Confederation may undertake information campaigns; (further) education programs; research, development and demonstration activities; as well as supporting the utilization of energy and energy residual heat.
Ficing of the support measures is generally jointly provided by the Confederation and Cantons. Some of the ficing derives from a CO2-levy as specified in the CO2-Act. The act confers the right to enter into international agreements. Also, the Energy Act specifies the rules regarding monitoring, data flows, data protection and disclosure obligations.
Finally, enforcement, roles and responsibilities, as well as penalty provisions, are specified. Of the eight associated ordices that have been revised or newly issued, the following are most relevant to renewable energy: Energy Ordice, Ordice for the promotion of electricity production from renewable energies; CO2-Ordice; Ordice for the certificate of origin and disclosure of primary fuels for electricity generation.