Energy Cooperatives in Switzerland: Survey Results // Energiegenossenschaften in der Schweiz: Befragungsergebnisse

Topic of Survey

The data at hand on energy cooperatives in Switzerland were collected in 2016 as part of the project "Collective financing of renewable energy projects in Switzerland and Germany" of the National Research Programme 71 "Managing Energy Consumption". The cooperatives were surveyed on their organizational structure, their activities in electricity and heat generation, their finances, the political context and their assessments of the future.

Survey Method

The survey was targeted at all energy cooperatives in Switzerland (this is the basic population). The Swiss Commercial Register was searched for cooperatives and specific keywords in order to determine this basic population and collect addresses. This search in May 2016 resulted in a total of 304 energy cooperatives, to which a questionnaire was sent in July 2016. A pre-test with 8 persons had been carried out before the questionnaire was sent out. The questionnaire was provided in German and French. It was sent by mail and an attached letter referred to a link for the digital version if preferred. The online version was designed with the software "Sawtooth". After three weeks, a first, and after six weeks a second reminder letter was sent to those cooperatives that had not yet completed the questionnaire. The returned hardcopy questionnaires were manually entered into the database and then combined with the electronic data from the online survey. In the course of the survey, the total population was reduced from 304 to 289: in 4 cases the survey was not deliverable, 4 cooperatives had dissolved, 6 were not actually energy cooperatives, 1 case had recently changed its legal form. With a response rate of 47%, the final data set comprises 136 responses (from 77 digital and 59 hardcopy questionnaires). However, not all 136 of the returned questionnaires were filled out completely. We checked for answers that seemed contradictory or incomprehensible. If an error could be clearly identified and the correct answer derived, the answer was adjusted, otherwise the answer was replaced by "missing data".


Participating cooperatives have been assured that their information will be kept confidential and will only be made public anonymously. For this reason, the data have been anonymized in in order to prevent any identification of individual cooperatives.

How to Use the Data

  • The data are available in CSV and SPSS (sav.) format.
  • A codebook and a modified version of the used questionnaire are provided to illustrate the data and variable structure. In the questionnaire, the variable names are assigned to the corresponding questions. In the codebook, further information on these variables (valid n, answer categories) can be found. This information (of the codebook) is already integrated in the SPSS file.

Current Embargo on Data

These data are currently under embargo and will only be released when the project is completed (not before 2020).

Additional Information

Funding Information:

This work was supported by:
  • Swiss National Science Foundation: National Research Programme 71 "Managing Energy Consumption" (Grant/Award: 153800 "Collective financing of renewable energy projects in Switzerland and Germany")

Related Publications

  • Rivas J., Schmid B., Seidl I. (2018) Energiegenossenschaften in der Schweiz: Ergebnisse einer Befragung. WSL Berichte: Vol. 71. Birmensdorf: Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL. 108 p.


Schmid, Benjamin; Seidl, Irmi (2022). Energy Cooperatives in Switzerland: Survey Results // Energiegenossenschaften in der Schweiz: Befragungsergebnisse. EnviDat. doi:10.16904/envidat.349.

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Data and Resources


Field Values
DOI 10.16904/envidat.349
Publication State Published
  • Email: benjamin.schmidfoo(at) ORCID: 0000-0002-7396-4404 Given Name: Benjamin Family Name: Schmid Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Collection, Validation, Publication
  • Email: irmi.seidlfoo(at) Given Name: Irmi Family Name: Seidl Affiliation: WSL DataCRediT: Collection, Publication, Supervision
Contact Person Given Name: Irmi Family Name: Seidl Email: irmi.seidlfoo(at) Affiliation: WSL
Publication Publisher: EnviDat Year: 2022
  • Type: Collected Date: 2016-07-01 End Date: 2016-10-31
Version 1.0
Type dataset
General Type Dataset
Language English
Location Switzerland
Content License ODbL with Database Contents License (DbCL)    [Open Data]
Last Updated March 1, 2023, 15:57 (UTC)
Created February 28, 2019, 14:53 (UTC)

Custom Metadata

Custom Field Values