2000-Watt society and 2000-Watt Site

In a 2000-Watt Society…

The 2000-Watt Society is a vision for a liveable future. People in such a society care and stand up for a high quality of life that meets the goals of sustainability. They appreciate the resources the earth provides, use them sensibly and share them equally around the globe. People in a 2000-Watt Society know that quality of life is not inextricably tied to a constantly higher material standard of living.


The 2000-Watt Society represents a sustainable and socially just society. For every person on earth, 2000 watts of continuous power (primary energy) are available. This is enough to ensure prosperity and a high quality of life. Today, the primary energy consumption per capita worldwide is on average 2500 watts – with enormous country-specific differences. At present, each Swiss inhabitant uses about 4700 watts. The CO2 emissions caused by this level of energy consumption must not exceed 1 tonne per person per year.

Thus drastic climate change can be actively counteracted. The goals of the 2000-Watt Society are scheduled to be met between the years 2050-2100.


Basically, three strategies exist to meet the goals of the 2000-Watt Society:

  • efficiency: use less energy for the same purpose
  • consistency: use renewable instead of non-renewable energy resources; use environmentally-friendly technologies; reuse and recycle
  • sufficiency: use less, for a better quality of life

Individuals, private companies and the public sector have to combine all of these strategies in order to achieve the objectives of the 2000-Watt Society.


  • Limited resources: resources like energy, raw materials, space and nature’s capacity to take emissions are limited. Only if we use these resources sensibly can long-term survival and prosperity be ensured.
  • Climate: greenhouse gases (among them CO2) affect the climate, which is changing dramatically as a result. If we restrict CO2 emissions to 1 tonne per person per year, we can hold the temperature increase to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the international community.
  • Justice: every human being has the same right to use the resources the earth provides. This applies to both today’s generation in all parts of the world and to future generations.

Calculation tool for 2000 Watt sites

The calculation tool is a comprehensive data platform allowing to evaluate large site- and district-projects according to the 2000-Watt targets.

It encompasses all phases of a site’s life cycle: development, planning, implementation and operation of newly constructed sites. Additionally, existing sites that undergo a long-term transformation-process along a target path can also be monitored. The tool allows to calculate site-specific primary energy and green house gas emissions for operation, grey energy and mobility according the goals of to the 2000-Watt-Socicity (methodology SIA Energy Efficiency Path - SIA 2040 and SIA 112). It is suited as part of a quality management process and a corresponding primary energy &  CO2 report for single site projects or portfolios of several buildings.

The current version – 1.4.1 – Calculation Aid II is also available in English (registration DE/FR/IT, user manual DE/FR/EN, published by SFOE / SwissEnergy).

The 2000-Watt Site: Our future living environment

A 2000-Watt Site is more than the sum of the houses. The «2000-Watt Site» certificate allows us for the first time to evaluate large site developments in terms of building quality, density, mixed usage and mobility. The total energy consumption of a certified site is optimized to the targets of the 2000-Watt Society. The aim for low resource consumption is achieved by energy-optimized buildings in a well-functioning urban development context.

The concept of a 2000-Watt Site takes an integrative view of the entire site rather than individual buildings. It opens up the perspective by depicting the whole living environment. The certificate is based on the SIA (Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects) Energy Path of Efficiency and the certification scheme “European Energy Award” for municipalities, which labels settlement areas with sustainable use of resources and efforts aimed at climate protection. The 2000-Watt Site certificate was developed as part of the «EnergieSchweiz» programme, whereby the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) promotes the implementation of the national energy policy on energy efficiency and renewable energies.

The principle

The core idea of the 2000-Watt Site is an ongoing evaluation process of a site’s sustainability in terms of energy in development, planning, implementation and operation. Certificates are issued for a limited time period and must be renewed periodically. They are awarded in two stages: As a «site under development» until at least half of the total living space is in use, and after that as a «site in operation».

The 2000-Watt Site certificate creates added value for all stakeholders – for investors, planners, users, law enforcement agencies and authorities: users enjoy a high standard of housing and living. They can live with the assurance that they are contributing to resource conservation and climate protection. Investors and owners are interested in value-preserving sites offering a high quality of living and working. The quality characteristics are useful for marketing and image-building. Due to the high level of acceptance, cooperation with authorities is much easier. For local municipalities it helps them to bring their concerns to bear at an early stage. The certificate is a guarantee of successful commercial implementation of their energy and climate-policy goals.

Swiss Federal Office of Energy: This is what it is all about

What is the vision of the 2000-watt society? What are the aims of the “2000-Watt Site” label? And what are the advantages of the integral approach to develop a site? Daniel Büchel, Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy, and Ricardo Bandli, manager of the 2000-Watt-Sites programme, summarize the plus-points.

The cooperative member: Help shape our future!

The “2000-Watt-Site” label is not confined to technical aspects - social aspects are also important. Anna Haller, who is in charge of Participation at “Mehr als Wohnen“, explains how her cooperative organizes participation by all residents and what significance sustainability and sufficiency have in this process.


Connect with us

Contact 2000-Watt Site

Daniel Kellenberger
c/o Intep - Integrale Planung GmbH
Pfingstweidstrasse 16, 8005 Zürich

Tel. +41 (0)43 488 38 98

Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Ricardo Bandli
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC)
Mühlestrasse 4, 3063 Ittigen
Postal address: Bundesamt für Energie, 3003 Bern

Tel. +41 (0)58 462 54 32

Competence Center 2000-Watt Society

Thomas Blindenbacher
c/o Amstein+Walthert AG
Andreasstrasse 11 8050 Zurich

Tel. +41 (0)44 305 93 60