Erdgas AG in Laufental-Thierstein, or GASAG for short, was founded on 20 August 1993. It operates facilities for reliably supplying private and public buildings with natural gas and biogas at the most favourable terms. The company also operates a natural gas filling station in Laufen.
Its shareholders include EBM (Elektra Birseck association) as well as the communes of Breitenbach, Büsserach, Dittingen, Meltingen and Zwingen, and Laufen. Primeo Energie is also mandated to manage the business and operations and handles the consulting and planning as well as the technical and administrative processes.
Since 1 January 2022, our customers have been receiving 100% green gas at the basic tariff. We refer to natural gas as green gas, the CO2 emissions of which are financed through high-quality climate protection projects. Together with myclimate, we are investing in a specific biogas project in Nepal which is certified according to the internationally-recognised Gold Standard. This project will enable more than 15,000 small biogas plants to be built, maintained and repaired on the land of farming families, which became necessary after the devastating earthquake of 2015. The project was initiated by WWF Nepal and supported together with myclimate. In addition to sustainably reducing emissions, the project significantly eases the burden on the women concerned and their families. Instead of collecting wood for hours every day, they can now directly obtain their energy locally. You can find more information, pictures and videos about the project here.
GASAG procures natural gas directly on the German market. Customers have therefore benefited from the low procurement prices in recent years. With the changed situation on the markets, the high market prices have to be passed on to customers.
Thanks to a forward-looking procurement plan, GASAG is not fully exposed to current market developments. It purchases only a small proportion on the short-term spot market. This helps to offset price spikes. Energy procurement is part of the energy costs. No major changes are expected in the short term for grid costs and charges.
Nevertheless, GASAG also had to recalculate its gas tariffs for 2023 and raise them by 45%. This means additional costs of around CHF 60 per month for a four-person household. All customers will be notified by post.
No. Gas price increases vary from one supplier to the next. This largely depends on the purchasing and pricing strategy of the respective gas supplier
Nevertheless, no supplier can simply leave the market. Everyone has to raise the rates for their customers sooner or later, and this is what they have done.
In a local comparison, the GASAG tariffs are among the lowest.
For customers with bills on account, the prepayment amounts will be adjusted as a precautionary measure in line with the new estimated cost of their gas for 2023.
Switzerland imports natural gas and does not have its own storage facilities. This is why all gas suppliers in Switzerland buy on the European market. Between 2010 and 2020, the wholesale price for gas ranged between 13 and 27 euro per megawatt hour. Since autumn 2021, it has seen a steep upward trend, clearly breaking through the 100-euro mark in January 2022 and peaking at over 300 euro at the end of August 2022. Record high wholesale prices are due, among other things, to the shortage of natural gas from Russia, the fact that large power plants in France are off the grid, and the conversion from coal to gas power plants.
We are expecting gas markets to remain volatile and price levels to stay high. Depending on the supply and temperature scenario in Europe, the winter of 2023/2024 is currently predicted to be tense.
At the end of August, the Federal Council launched the energy saving campaign with the slogan “Energy is scarce. Let's not waste it.” It shows how the population and businesses can save energy with simple tips. The aim is for as many people as possible to participate voluntarily and thus help to prevent Switzerland from experiencing a shortage in the first place.
Every kilowatt hour counts. To save thermal energy, lower the room temperature, keep windows closed and ventilate only briefly and intermittently, and wash your hands with cold water.
You can find more useful tips on saving hot water, heating and electricity here. Simple and effective.
According to the Swiss Gas Industry Association, the supply of natural gas in Switzerland is currently secure. In early March 2022, the Federal Council allowed the regional gas companies jointly to procure additional quantities and set up gas reserves by 1 November 2022 to secure the supply for the coming winter. This includes the procurement of gas, additional gas storage capacities (15% of domestic annual consumption), liquefied natural gas (LNG), and terminal capacities for LNG. However, it is not yet possible to give the all-clear, and we must be prepared for a possible shortage.
The Swiss gas sector has no contracts with Russia. Gas is procured directly and primarily from the markets in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy. The Swiss gas industry has no influence over the supply mix of the respective upstream suppliers. Gas accounts for 15% of total energy consumption in Switzerland. Of this, 46% previously came from Russia; today, it is less than 10%, according to the gas association. The EU is making every effort to phase out Russian gas as quickly as possible, as well as oil and coal.
In case of a gas shortage in Switzerland, a national economic supply concept will be implemented for measures to reduce demand in several stages. These include austerity measures, an order to switch from dual-fuel plants to oil, and gas rationing for major consumers in an emergency.
You can find more information about this here.
Simply order biogas. You decide the proportion you use. Biogas and natural gas have the same chemical composition and are easy to mix, but they come from different sources. Biogas does not originate from fossil sites in the ground but from biogenic waste materials, such as green waste and food waste. These are used to produce hard fertilisers, liquid fertilisers and, above all, biogas.
Together with myclimate, GASAG has already offset all the heating gas by making specific investments in biogas projects. In addition, GASAG will include biogas in its standard product starting in 2024. It is produced here in Switzerland and comes from Biopower, a company in Pratteln.
Further local biogas sources are being investigated. The fledgling distribution system is also suitable for transporting hydrogen, which is particularly important for industry as a process gas. The aim is to fully supply the connected communes in Laufental Thierstein with renewable gas by 2050.
c/o EBM (Elektra Birseck association)