Cost of Living

The cost of living in Switzerland is amongst the highest in the world. On average, people spend about one third of their income on rent and about 5% on insurance.


Utility Costs

Cost of living in Switzerland

Billed by the landlord as part of the rent

Utilities or ancillary costs refer to the actual expenditure you incur for additional costs on top of rent and can include the following: heating, water, electricity (common areas), maintenance of common areas of house, caretaker costs, gardener, lift maintenance, sewerage costs and management fees. The costs for utilities are paid on a monthly basis, together with the rent and are either settled as the same amount every month or according to use. Akonto is the difference between what you have paid in advance and the actual costs. This amount will then be refunded to you or you will be billed, if the costs are higher. Utility costs represent of an average 10% of oy your monthly rent.




Billed separately by the respective providers



Electricity is billed directly by the electricity company and is to be paid in addition to the utility costs unless specified differently in your rental agreement. Telephone, internet, TV and radio licence fees are also paid in addition to rent.



The amount of water you use will be billed according to how much you have used from the meter reading or it will be billed at a fixed price. Bills are sent quarterly, but meter readings are only made every six months, so your first bill will be an estimate based on normal usage and the second bill will be a reflection of your actual consumption


TV / Radio Serafe

It is a Radio and TV fee to the device-independent household, all households in Switzerland are basically liable to pay the fee. Each household will automatically receive an invoice from the Serafe, if they have registered in the local community.



Swisscom has the monopoly on the “last mile” so you must get your phone line from them, but you can shop around for a provider that offers cheap calls home. You can compare prices on Buy your own handset and then take a contract with another provider. It has to be said that Swisscom offers excellent customer service and is very reliable. UPC is also very popular.


TV / Internet and Landline Package

Before moving into your new apartment/house you need to ask your real estate agency or landlord what connection with which providers are possible and recommended for the particular building and area. It is recommended you compare several options and prices.