Headlines

Ghana Developing Cookstoves Performance Label

28 June 2017

CLASP and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance), with partner Kantar Public Ghana, are supporting the Ghana Energy Commission (GEC) in the development of a cookstoves performance label. The performance label will target rural and urban households – empowering consumers and other buyers to compare stove quality before they purchase a stove. 

Over 70% of Ghanaian households cook their meals using biomass fuel – primarily wood in rural areas and charcoal in urban areas. Ghanaians also face more than 13,000 smoke-related deaths each year from cooking with biomass fuel. Because of their consistent proximity to cookstove emissions, children under the age of five are the most vulnerable. 

In response to this mounting health and environmental crisis, the government of Ghana is developing a plan to transition consumers from traditional biomass or charcoal stoves to cleaner, more efficient stoves, and from traditional fuels to cleaner fuels like LPG, ethanol, or pellets. To accelerate this transition and enhance the benefits to the Ghanaian people and environment, the government of Ghana is building a national standards and labelling (S&L) program for improved cookstoves, based on their existing S&L programs for other appliances. 

CLASP and the Alliance provided recommendations to the GEC on cookstove thermal efficiency and emissions levels on their hybrid (comparative and endorsement) label – a label that provides efficiency performance information, while also endorsing the highest performing products on emissions. 

Ghana already operates a successful mandatory standards and labelling program for domestic refrigerators, air conditioners, and compact fluorescent lamps. The Ghana Electrical Appliance Labelling and Standards Programme requires any of those products sold in the country must meet a minimum energy performance standard and be marked with a Ghana Energy Label. Ghana is well positioned to support the development of S&L activities for cookstoves and fuels. 

Since 2015, CLASP has supported the Alliance on capacity building measures for six countries -- Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, and Haiti. Together, we are working to make safe, efficient, and clean cookstoves more available and affordable by developing market transformation strategies, implementation plans, S&L program recommendations, and more. Part of this transition uses and applies best practice principles from S&L programs, including:

  • Testing products to better understand their performance and improve confidence among consumers and investors;
  • Establishing performance criteria to set benchmarks for manufacturers to meet; and
  • Conveying information to increase awareness of the benefits of clean and efficient cookstoves.

This has the potential to reduce fuel consumption and exposure to harmful cookstove smoke, while providing economic opportunities in communities around the world. 

Cookstoves: A New Efficiency Frontier

Around the world, markets for clean and efficient cookstoves are nascent and regulations generally non-existent. But, in recognition of the major health and environmental impacts, governments are taking action to transition households to cleaner and more efficient stoves and fuels. 

Cookstoves can be homemade, artisan, or manufactured by private industry. They use a wide range of fuel types – wood, charcoal, pellets, briquettes, ethanol, kerosene, liquid petroleum gas, and others – most of which pose serious health and environmental risks. 

In many cases, women light cooking fires inside their homes, leading to inhalation of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, black carbon, and other harmful particles that cause respiratory disease. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution from cooking kills over 4 million people every year and sickens millions more. These same emissions also have significant global warming potential. 

This work has been supported by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, the UK Department for International Development, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

CLASP recently presented a poster on this work at the European Council on Energy Efficient Economies.