New report unveils the potential of electric cooking in Kalobeyei settlement
SNV and CLASP recently released a new report sharing the project experiences and key lessons learned from the Piloting Electric Pressure Cookers in Kalobeyei (PEPCI-K) project.
The project, implemented under EnDev, aimed to explore the potential of electric pressure cookers (EPCs) for cooking in a displacement setting, specifically among mini-grid users. The report offers insights into how EPCs can provide cleaner and more efficient cooking solutions for communities in the Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement.
Almost all (94%) of the 258,000 people living in and around Kakuma and Kalobeyei (including host communities) use either a three-stone open fire or firewood and charcoal stoves for cooking. This has adverse effects on health and the environment. Electric cooking in a mini-grid context can be a low-cost and clean alternative to biomass cooking and contribute to the financial sustainability of mini-grids due to increased power consumption. Especially EPCs are considered well suited in a mini-grid context due to their high efficiency and suitability for (unsupervised) preparation of staple meals during the daytime. The increasing electrification rates through the hybrid solar mini-grid systems in Kalobeyei, developed and operated by Renewvia Energy, and the Kenya Power mini-grid system in Kakuma town presented an opportunity to introduce EPCs to the host and refugee communities in the area.
Piloting electric pressure cookers in Kalobeyei project
The project focused on gaining insights into the potential for cooking with EPCs for mini-grid users in a refugee setting and the requirements and potential barriers to developing a market for EPCs in low-income mini-grid settings. To do so, the project activities included product sensitisation, commercial distribution (including marketing and end-user training), and testing various payment models for EPC purchases. Simultaneously, the project researched the impact of EPC uptake on end-users cooking experiences and their electricity consumption from the mini-grid systems through end-user surveys and electricity consumption monitoring.
Key lessons learnt
The report presents the activities, research results, and key insights. Overall, the research found a good product market fit for household use, compatible with local meal preferences, and has a positive impact on end users' cooking experiences by reducing cooking time, fuel costs, and cooking water consumption. EPCs contribute to increasing mini-grid electricity consumption, but high usage variety was monitored among end users. Hence efforts should focus on after-sales end-user training to optimize benefits and ensure sustained use. The tested payment plans were effective for initial sales conversion; however, the high total price of the EPC and instalment payment collection remains a major challenge as the tested payment models recorded high default rates.
The project activities and results have generated substantial learnings, which informed an ‘e-cooking market development roadmap’. The roadmap presented in the report lays out steps for sector players to consider when designing and implementing similar interventions.
SNV, through the EnDev Market Based Energy Access project, will continue to support the private sector to offer improved and high-tier cooking solutions to the market in Kakuma and Kalobeyei - serving different customer segments increasing product choice and driving more people to higher levels of access to cleaner cooking solutions.
CLASP continues to support the uptake and growth of the electric cooking appliances market. The Productive Use Appliance Financing Facility, co-managed by CLASP and Nithio, offers companies the opportunity to access capacity-building grants and procurement subsidies with the objective of making high-quality appliances such as electric pressure cookers more affordable and accessible.