Gas, Electricity, Water in Zurich


The Swiss energy market is privatized and offer a wide array of services. Utility services are managed at a cantonal level, with one organization in each area supplying all the utility services. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy monitors and regulates the energy market and encourages energy efficiency.

Costs may be included in the monthly rent. Companies send bills every two to four months. Tenants pay an estimated charge which is re-calculated every six to 12 months based on meter readings. Most supply companies have online facilities for application or cancellation of services. Contact EWZ (German) for Zurich info.


Gas is uncommon in Switzerland for household use due to its high cost. However, some properties may utilize it.



Billing is usually quarterly and combined with other utility costs like electricity, water, and sewage bills. Combined cost is around CHF 900 and per year.


Electricity in Switzerland is between 220-240 volts, 10 amps maximum with a frequency of 50 hertz. The electrical plug has three round prongs, but older sockets generally take standard two pin, non fused plugs.



Billing is usually about every 6 months. It may be combined with other utility costs like gas, water, and sewage bills. Since prices are paid before hand on an estimate, the first bill will often be based on the previous tenant. Combined cost is around CHF 900 and per year.

A lower tariff rate is available overnight (from Mondays to Fridays, 20:00 to 06:00) and on Saturdays after 13:00 and all day Sunday. Times may vary depending on the canton and the time of the year.


Zurich's tap water is potable, but has high calcium levels. This means there is a high amount of calcification in areas or items that come in regular contact with water. Decalcifying tablets for shower fittings, steam irons, wine glasses, etc can help fight this.



The cost of a water bill is calculated either based on the metered amount of water consumed, or as a fixed rate, based on the size of your property and the number of faucets. The cost of water is generally low in Switzerland compared to other European countries.

Billing is usually quarterly and may be combined with other utility costs like gas, electricity, and sewage bills. Combined cost is around CHF 900 and per year.


Waste disposal must be placed in the appropriate garbage bags (Zueri-Sack). Available in different sizes (from 17 to 110 liters), these bags are available in all supermarkets.

There are different categories of waste and residents are expected to separate their trash. General categories include combustible waste (packaging, plastic or wood) to kitchen waste (vegetable peelings, food leftovers). There are fines for incorrect disposal of waste.

Waste collection in Zurich is scheduled usually twice a week. , but depends on where you live. Garbage is generally left outside the apartment or in the basement. There are also 24-hour garbage drop-off points (underground waste collection units) located throughout the city.

Recycling of paper (newspapers, magazines) and bundled cardboard are collected separately at no cost. Clothes and shoes in good condition are collected by charities in special bags that are distributed free via mail. Bundled paper (newspapers, magazines, envelopes, letters, etc.) is collected free of charge every two weeks. Charges apply for the disposal of bulky items like furniture.

Update 18/08/2011


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