Smart cooking in Laos: customers purchased 100,000 improved cookstoves


In June 2016, the Improved Cookstoves programme implemented by SNV, Oxfam and ARMI, and funded by EU Switch Asia, is celebrating the production of the 100,000th improved cookstove in Lao PDR since the start of the project in 2013.

The improved cookstoves (ICS) are easily recognisable by their bright blue label and superman logo, and are much more efficient and durable than the traditional stoves on the market in Laos.

The project is celebrating this milestone with a public event at Vientiane Center from 6-12 June. ICS will be for sale and customers will be able to join a variety of activities and a lucky draw on Friday 10 June in the afternoon.

“This programme demonstrates well that through a well-balanced intervention involving the public, private and civil sector, markets can become sustainable and sensible. Out of an area with 500,000 households 20% do have an ICS, and its share is only increasing,” says Bastiaan Teune, Sector Leader for Renewable Energy of SNV in Laos.

As all ASEAN countries seek ways to mitigate climate change, introducing ICS to the market is a meaningful approach. One ICS saves 0.5 tonnes of CO2 a year, and thus far 35,000 tonnes have been reduced, which is equivalent to the emissions of 7,000 people flying from Vientiane to Brussels and back.

Its clever design means that less fuel is needed for preparing the same meal, and it lasts longer. Therefore, households save 16,000 LAK per month thanks to fuel savings and durability. Higher efficiency also saves 30 minutes of cooking time a day, giving the cooks more time to engage in other activities. No wonder the ICS is in such high demand!

“For us, the feedback from cooks has always been our key concern, and the comments made it rewarding and has motivated us to overcome many challenges over the past years. This helped us to get support from many different actors. Sometimes we gave out an ICS to try and after that we got the interest,” explains Amphone Souvannalath, Director of ARMI.

With the support of Nexus for Development, the program aims to gain revenues from carbon finance to continue its activities over the coming years. Also new, clean cookstove models will be introduced to the Lao market with the aim to address health issues associated with smoke from cooking on wood and charcoal, with hopefully a similar positive uptake as the ICS.


Bastiaan Teune

Energy Sector Leader