One Tonne Life

One of the greatest challenges surrounding the issue of climate change is that it can seem overwhelming to the individual. To show people that their everyday lives can inspire positive change, we took part in One Tonne Life. The aim of the project was to see if a family can reduce their carbon emissions from the average of 7.3 tonnes each per year to one tonne.

One Tonne Life is a collaborative project between Vattenfall, Volvo, house manufacturer A-Hus, Swedish supermarket chain ICA, and other partners. The objective was to demonstrate that if one family can make a difference, many families can drastically reduce our climate impact.

New climate smart lifestyle

For six months, the Lindell family lived in a house built with the latest technology – special insulation, rooftop solar panels, composting and more. They exchanged their ten-year-old cars for an all-electric car and had access to the best expertise in the fields of energy, food and household appliances.

Vattenfall's contribution was EnergyWatch – the heart and mind of the house. EnergyWatch is an online analytical tool that tracks and measures household energy consumption. This helped the family significantly reduce their environmental impact.

  • We provided the family with several other solutions:
  • Energy advice – expertise on how the family can use energy in the most efficient way from Lasse Ejeklint, one of Vattenfall's energy experts.
  • Energy from the sun – solar cell panels on the roof and exterior generates electricity that provides additional heating or can be used to recharge the electric car.
  • Low carbon electricity – when the sun is not shining, the family can choose electricity from low emission energy sources, such as hydro or wind power.
  • Surplus electricity is recycled – any electricity that is not consumed by the family is sold and fed into the national grid.
  • Electricity in the tank – the family charges the electrical car in a smart charging station in the carport, which also reports travel data, electricity consumption, and charging and battery status.

The results

After just six months, the family reduced their carbon emissions down to 1.5 tonnes each. Specifically, they managed to:

  • Reduce CO2 emissions from transport by almost 95 per cent.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions from food by 80 per cent.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions from accommodation by 60 per cent.
  • Reduce CO2 emissions from other areas by 50 per cent.

This means that their carbon footprint decreased by 75 per cent.

The social impact

According to TNS Sifo , the project reached more than one-third of the Swedish population, half of whom said that One Tonne Life inspired them to take action in their own lives.

Much of the technology and solutions used by the Lindell family is already available to the general public, or will be available in the very near future. Many households can reduce their energy costs substantially by actively monitoring their electricity consumption, using more energy efficient appliances and improving insulation. Vattenfall uses the lessons learned from One Tonne Life to spur further development.

Last updated: 2013-09-30 16:05