Interactive CO2 calculator on the federal government's geoportal

Climate and energy-relevant information for all Swiss residential buildings can now be seen on the federal government's geoportal. It is possible to estimate for all buildings how much CO2 is emitted under standard conditions. This creates transparency around climate and energy policy in the buildings sector and contributes to achieving Swiss climate targets. Under Switzerland's long-term climate strategy, the country's building stock should have net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

In Switzerland, the building stock accounts for around a third of the country's CO2 emissions. Reductions in this area are key to achieving climate targets.

Under «CO2 emissions for buildings (SIA 380/1)» on the federal geoportal, you can obtain an estimate of the CO2 emissions for every residential building in Switzerland. These are calculated for standard heating and hot water demand.

Federal geoportal: 

Legend: Estimated CO2 emissions for standard conditions kg/m2 heated area / year (triangle symbol: heating update date >20 years)

The calculation is based on the previous day's input data from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office's Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings (RBD, see below). These data are not up-to-date everywhere and do not contain sufficient information on building renovations.

The interactive CO2 calculator allows users to find out for each building how a change of energy source – for example from natural gas to a heat pump – or a building refurbishment can reduce CO2 emissions. Any data entered are not saved. It is important to know that the standard values shown here (SIA standard 380/1; 2016) for CO2 emissions do not necessarily reflect the actual consumption values and also do not replace a building energy certificate from the cantons (GEAK). A building's actual CO2 emissions can deviate from the calculated value depending on user behaviour, effective occupancy, the weather and any refurbishment work carried out. The information provides an estimate for standard conditions and does not constitute official or binding information.

How can CO2 emissions be reduced?

Heating with renewable energy: The most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions is to heat a building using renewable energy, for example a heat pump, solar heat, wood or district heating. The Swiss building stock has overall high CO2 emissions because the majority of buildings are still heated using oil and natural gas.

Building energy refurbishments: Refurbishing the façade, roof, cellar or windows helps to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption. The cantonal building energy GEAK certificate provides a standard for specialists to assess the quality of the building envelope and overall energy efficiency of the building's utilities, and to calculate its CO2 emissions. GEAK is a standardised national certificate for assessing the energy status of buildings and planning refurbishments.

Improving climate and energy data

The Federal Statistical Office FSO maintains the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings (RBD), which serves as the authoritative national information system for buildings. Some new RBD data have been publicly available since April 2022, including climate and energy data for buildings. There is unrestricted access to the RBD for statistical, research and planning purposes in the climate and energy sector.

The RBD was originally set up using data from the 2000 census. It is kept updated on the basis of information recorded by the building authorities for all construction projects requiring a permit, such as new buildings, conversions or demolitions. However, changes in heating systems or energy source are not systematically recorded as there are considerable differences in this area among the cantons and communes; changes are not always reported to the competent authority. As a result the RBD data on heating systems is not entirely up to date in all areas.

The communes and cantons are required to provide up-to-date data for the RBD (Art. 5 RBD). The FSO also strives to continuously improve the quality of climate and energy data by means of secondary data, for example from combustion installation controls, energy certificates (GEAK, Minergie) and subsidy programmes (Building Programme). Going forward, it is crucial that the RBD data remain up-to-date and give an accurate picture of the heating systems used in buildings.

Role of building owners

The CO2 calculator and the building data maps on the federal geoportal help to make the climate and energy data in the RBD more accurate. Building owners are called on to ensure their local authority has the latest data on their property. The map on building emissions helps the responsible authorities at communal, cantonal and federal level meeting the requirement to update the data.

Have your own building data updated

As a building owner, you can help to keep the climate and energy data in the Federal Register of Buildings and Dwellings up to date.

If you renewed your heating system more than half a year ago, the information on which the CO2 calculator is based may no longer be up to date. In which case, please contact the building office in your local authority with the relevant documents (invoices and photos). If you renewed your heating system less than six months ago, please give the authorities time to update the information. They must provide this data in accordance with the Ordinance on the Register of Buildings and Dwellings (RBDO).

Instructions for updating your own RBD data:

Questions and answers

Last modification 15.03.2023

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