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Swisscom joins national effort to head off winter energy crisis

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Swisscom is joining a Swiss national alliance to work together to avert what it expects to be an impending energy crisis this coming winter.

The company says it is joining the Energy Saving Alliance, set up by the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC).

Swisscom says the initial phase will see it “implement swift measures at its office buildings and shops”.

By November, “it will gradually reduce indoor and outdoor lighting as far as possible in the evening hours and at night in all shops and office buildings”.

It will set a maximum temperature of 20°C for all buildings “and educate employees and customers on simple and efficient energy-saving measures”, it said.

Swisscom might also close some offices to help save energy, and make “energy-saving adjustments to the network and IT infrastructure”, it added.

“Swisscom is also in discussions with the relevant authorities to determine whether and in what form it can support electricity generation in winter with its emergency power generators,” it said.

The Swiss Energy Saving Alliance lists 64 members, including local authorities, financial institutions and trade associations. It asks members to list the measures they will take, adding: “These efficiency measures must be specific to the sector or company, be implemented in addition to existing efficiency measures within the organisation and contribute to saving energy during the winter of 2022/2023.”

Swisscom says that, according to the World Finance Sustainability Awards 2022, it is already “the most sustainable telecommunications company in the world”. It says that, in the past six years alone, “Swisscom has increased its energy efficiency by 45%, thus preventing approximately 90GWh of additional energy consumption”.

The company says it “has been operating its entire network using completely renewable solar, wind and hydro power for more than ten years”. It now produces around 3GWh of electricity with its 87 photovoltaic systems, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of around 800 Swiss households.

“In addition, innovative cooling concepts using rainwater and air circulation ensure the energy-efficient operation of Swisscom’s data centres,” says the company. “Thanks to a district heating network, the waste heat from these data centres also helps to heat the living rooms of many Swiss households.”