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Shedding light on electricity in Geneva

Two federal laws set the legal framework for the liberalization of the electricity market. These are the Act on the supply of electricity (Electricity Supply Act) of 23 March 2007 (entered into force on 1 January 2009) and its Implementing Ordinance (StromVV). The Electricity Commission (ElCom), established by the Federal Council in June 2007, is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the opening of the electricity market and intervenes, if necessary, with regulatory measures. ElCom takes any decisions necessary in implementing the Electricity Supply Act and its provisions.
Since 1 January 2008, electricity prices have been set by fair competition.

To supply homes, companies and public spaces, electricity needs to be produced, transported and then sold.




1. Producing electrical energy

In 2011, the total production of electricity provided by SIG increased to 653.4 GW/h. 25% of supply to the electrical network (power grid) is locally generated from our plants and independent producers.
The origin of this electricity source is hydraulic, and as such, is almost 85% renewable. The remaining energy we produce is thermal, generated by incinerating household waste. Solar energy production and biomass represented 2.6GWh at year-end 2011.

2. Transporting and distributing electricity

From the source of electricity production, to the zone where it is consumed, electricity has to travel through several generating plants. It’s transported across a transmission network made up of very high voltage power lines. The electricity is then carried across a distribution network via various substations that convert the voltage level from ‘Very High’ to ‘High’.
In Geneva, five Very High Voltage transmission lines converge at electrical substations located in Verbois and Foretaille, which hook up to connection points between the transmission and distribution networks. Before being distributed to customers, the voltage is lowered twice again at other substations.
The distribution network in Geneva operates as a natural monopoly, and this also avoids the need to build additional costly transmission networks. As a result, the network is not open to competitors. SIG is a longstanding energy supplier in Geneva, and our Organisation alone is responsible for supplying electricity to your home or office.
Our mission is to guarantee open, non-discriminatory access to market electricity suppliers so that they can serve their clients. Rates are fixed and controlled by ELCom, the Electricity Commission.

3. Selling electricity

Sales of electricity are overseen by SIG and the different suppliers on the market. Any sites that consume a minimum of 100,000 kWh/pa can choose their preferred energy provider.


Electricity consumption in the canton of Geneva

Each day, the people of Geneva consume four times more electricity than they produce. The graph below is updated every 15 minutes and shows the peaks and troughs of our local daily electricity needs.


Click to view the electricity consumption in the Geneva canton (in french)