This coming winter, Swiss ski resorts may be required to cut services to save electricity, reported RTS. Ski lifts and snow making equipment consume the same amount of electricity as 30,000 to 40,000 Swiss households do across a year.
It has been suggested that Switzerland’s federal government may require lift operators to cut electricity usage by 20%.
However, the idea has met with resistance. While winter resorts provide non-essential recreation, they also provide essential work to those who work in the sector. According Laurent Vaucher, the head of the the lift operator Téléverbier in the canton of Valais, every franc spent on lift passes brings 6 francs to the region.
With or without restrictions from the government, many ski resort lift operators already have plans to reduce electricity consumption.
For example Téléverbier has put several options on the table. Unnecessary consumption, such as for certain lights, portable heaters, hot water in toilets and certain elevators and escalators could be cut. Another option is to slow down lifts, stop some of them at night or even during the day.
Banning the use of snow making equipment has also been discussed. But this would present a big risk for ski resorts, according to Vaucher.