(Slay News) – The people of Switzerland could face huge fines and up to three years in prison if caught “overheating” their homes this winter.
The move comes as Europe prepares for a cold and dark winter as the continent battles an energy shortage crisis.
New government legislation covering the Swiss energy supply will make it unlawful to heat homes to more than 19°C during an energy shortage.
In addition, hot water should not be heated to more than 60 degrees.
Portable electric heaters, saunas, and heated swimming pools are prohibited.
Swiss citizens found to be in violation of the country’s new heating rules could face daily fines of up to 3,000 Swiss francs and up to three years in prison, according to Remix News.
The new law comes despite the long-held guideline from the World Health Organization (WHO) that a temperature no colder than 20°C is recommended for children, the elderly, and those with existing health conditions.
Swiss Department of Economics (DEF) spokesman Markus Spörndli explained in a statement that “infringements of the law on the supply of the country are always misdemeanors, even […] crimes, and must be prosecuted ex officio by the cantons.”
The fine to be imposed on consumers found to be violating the new energy laws will range from 30 francs up to a maximum of 3,000 francs per day, Spörndli said.
The amount would be dependent on the nature of the offense and the economic situation of the perpetrator, he confirmed.
Willful violations of the government guidelines could see consumers jailed for up to three years in prison.
Spörndli insists that imprisoning citizens is something that the government hopes to avoid, however.
“The draft ordinances are based primarily on the fact that the vast majority of the population respects the laws,” he added.
Economy Minister Guy Parmelin told a press conference at the Federal Council last Wednesday that Switzerland is “not a police state.”
Nevertheless, it is understood that there may be spot checks undertaken to ensure people are complying with the rules, as reported by Swiss news outlet Blick.
Swiss cantons now have until September 22 to discuss the proposals and address how they may be enforced, with some officials concerned they may be inundated with citizen complaints from nosy neighbors.
As such, the DEF only expects fines to be dished out “if the infringement was reported and checked and could then be proven.”
However, police chiefs believe enforcement will be difficult.
“There are still a few open questions that need to be clarified,” Fredy Fässler told Blick.
Fässler added that he does not want to see the energy police going door to door: “We want to apply the ordinance with discernment.”
As Slay News has previously reported, numerous other European countries are introducing similar restrictions in the face of a worsening energy crisis following the shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
French economist Charles Gave said many more people aren’t buying the narrative that Vladimir Putin is solely to blame for the crisis.
“For the last 15 years, our European leaders have gone into a climate craze, promoting magic mirrors and windmills as the solution,” Gave said.
“It does not work.
“These solutions demand the same capacity in gas power plants.”