Swiss retail power prices set to rise by a quarter in 2023

ZURICH, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Swiss households are set to see power bills rise by around 27% in 2023, with wide swings depending on locale, the national energy watchdog said on Tuesday.

"A typical household with consumption of 4,500 kWh will pay 27 centimes per kilowatt hour next year, 5.8 centimes more than in 2022. Calculated over a year, this corresponds to an electricity bill of 1,215 Swiss francs ($1,238), up 261 francs," the Federal Electricity Commission said.

Network connection costs and municipal fees were set to rise as well, while the national surcharge to promote renewable energies would hold steady at 2.3 centimes per kWh.

Small and mid-sized businesses were also facing price increases, it said, citing surging wholesale prices amid curtailed gas supplies during the war in Ukraine.

The SGB labour union federation said consumers in Switzerland were better off than, for example, in Britain, where power prices have tripled, but it called for state aid to poorer households.

"For households with low incomes, an increase in the electricity bill by several hundred francs is unbearable. Therefore, effective flanking measures are needed quickly," it said in a statement.

The Swiss government said last week it saw no immediate need for measures to help cushion the burden of surging energy prices and inflation, but would assess the situation again after an energy price task force reported back in October. read more

($1 = 0.9813 Swiss francs)

Reporting by Michael Shields Editing by Mark Potter

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