Electricity and Home Appliances

Understand the ins and outs of electricity in the Swiss home...

Switzerland's standard electricity supply is 230 volts, 10 amps maximum with a frequency of 50 hertz.

Note: A country's available voltage is printed on the glass of a light bulb, or the light bulb packet.

Utility services are managed at a cantonal level, with one organisation in each area supplying all the utility services - electricity, gas and water. This organisation is the Städtische werke-elektrizität, Gaz und Wasser, or Centrale services techniques: électricité, gaz et eau.

To request services, contact the appropriate company in the canton (or commune). Most of the supply companies have online facilities for application or cancellation of services.

Note: A low tariff electricity rate is generally available overnight (from 20:00 to 06:00). Times may vary depending on the canton and the time of the year.

Plugs and Adaptors

Sockets generally take standard two pin, non fused plugs. Newer buildings in Switzerland have a different plug: three round prongs in a triangular pattern (adapters are available to convert the standard European safety plug or US plug to the Swiss socket). All domestic appliances bought in Switzerland will have a compatible two or three pin plug attached.

Home Appliances from the US

It is not recommended to bring electrical appliances with a motor from the US (such as refrigerators, electric can openers, stereos). The voltage in the US is 110 and 60 hertz, while in Switzerland it is 220 volts and 50 hertz. The appliances would need a transformer.