The 2000-watt energy saving challenge may be hard, but it’s worthwhile

A Swiss vision of a low-energy society set a goal that is irresistibly simple: consume energy at a rate of just 2000 watts. It’s a great way to push us to use less power – good for the purse and the planet


| Leader

8 February 2023

Energy saving concept. Paper cut of eco on green grass; Shutterstock ID 381769096; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -


WITH fuel bills and gas prices vastly higher as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for many of us, the question of cutting back on energy use isn’t one of if, but how. So where to start?

Perhaps a thought experiment from Swiss researchers could help. If you shared all the energy produced in the world, everyone would get roughly 2000 watts of continuous power, the equivalent of 48 kilowatt-hours a day. Those who made this calculation in the 1990s envisioned a 2000-watt society, where everyone had access to no more, no less.

This idea is appealing for several …

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