Clean Cooking Program

Enabling a successful long-term energy transition with household data.

Our Goal

Uncover insights that will enable all households to transition to clean cooking. We are committed to tackling complex questions, testing new solutions, and working alongside our partners to guide the adoption of clean cooking solutions for everyone, everywhere.

The Challenge

Every day, 3 billion people rely on indoor fires fueled by biomass or coal to cook their daily meals.

Not only is the resulting household smoke a significant contributor to climate change, but it is also responsible for nearly 4 million deaths from respiratory diseases each year—more than malaria, TB, and HIV/AIDS combined. The solution to this life-threatening issue lies in the energy transition: enabling households to rely on cleaner fuels and technologies. As a result, large-scale efforts and resources are being directed towards low- and middle-income countries to replace unsafe and polluting cooking practices with clean cooking solutions.

Yet, clean household energy continues to be out of reach for many communities worldwide.

The distribution of clean stoves does not always result in actual sustained usage of cleaner energy over time. At Nexleaf, we are committed to discovering the ground truth about cookstove usage in order to make a real impact on the lives of millions of people. We have developed and innovated ways to use technology to monitor cooking and better understand household behavior and the barriers to a successful clean energy transition.

How We Use Data to Chart the Path Forward

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1 Our Approach

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Collecting Objective Data to Understand Women’s Needs

We operate on the principle that we should not expect women to adapt to new cooking solutions, but that cooking solutions should be designed and adapted to meet the full range of women’s needs. Directly measuring cookstove use reveals insights that can inform the design of delivery infrastructure. For example, using our sensor monitoring technology, we have found that clean cookstove use often declines over time due to poor durability, lack of maintenance services, and other discrepancies between what is provided and what the user needs.

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Measuring Impact Based on Usage, Not Just Access

Globally, the success of clean cooking initiatives is measured by access to improved stoves and clean fuel supply. While access is the first vital step to a successful energy transition, in order to have any impact on health and climate, clean stoves must be utilized as a long-term alternative to traditional fuels. By developing models for the direct measurement of stove use, we aim to provide more robust approaches to assessing clean cooking impact.

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Getting Reliable Data to the People Who Need It

Millions of dollars each year are invested in new clean cooking interventions from both the private and public sectors. Yet, data from households using the cookstoves does not always make it to governments, key decision makers, or financial systems. Nexleaf works alongside partners to raise the bar for data in the clean cooking sector and build systems for data-driven financing.

Latest Blogs

Learn More About Our Clean Cooking Work

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From Smartphones to Bluetooth: 12 Years of Sensor Technology to Understand Clean Cooking

One of the first challenges Nexleaf undertook was monitoring clean cooking. We wondered whether these cookstoves could be made “smart” by equipping them with temperature sensors.

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Seeking the Ground Truth in Electric Cooking: A Project Collaboration Among Nexleaf Analytics, Access to Energy Institute, MECS, and PowerGen

Ground truth data that tells us how often, when, and why stoves are in use can inform smarter and more effective improved cookstove distribution in the future.

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Sistema.bio and Nexleaf: What Can Biogas and Sensor Monitoring Tell Us About Clean Cooking

This partnership brings together Nexleaf’s sensors and Sistema.bio’s biogas stoves and cooking system to collect insights on best practices for measuring adoption and explore the use of cooking data for biogas stove monitoring and evaluation.

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Publications

Read Our Data-Driven Reports

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Sensor Technology for End-User Financing: Lessons Learned from Nigeria

Achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030 will require a new approach to understanding end-user needs, making end-user data and financing critical in closing the energy gap for 3 billion households. Nexleaf developed the sensor-enabled climate financing model using IoT technology to simultaneously support end-user data and financing.

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Responsible Scale and Data-Driven Stove Evaluation: Methodology and Lessons Learned from Nigeria

Improved cookstoves must not only reduce particulate emissions, but they must also be culturally appropriate, durable, and affordable. Scaling stoves that do not meet these needs leads to wasted investments and households burdened by broken equipment, and the erosion of trust in the cooking and energy sectors.

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Beyond Monitoring and Evaluation: 
Continuously Tracking Improved Cookstove Adoption Over Time to Achieve Lasting Success

We can’t fix problems we can’t see. If we do not track adoption of improved cookstoves continuously over time, stakeholders have little to no insight into ICS performance, user acceptability, or when design solutions are required to address these barriers.

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Program Manager

Megan Bomba

If you’re interested in learning more about
our work or how to partner with us,
contact Megan Bomba at megan@nexleaf.org