Quantitative metrics of stove adoption using Stove Use Monitors (SUMs)

Biomass Bioenergy. 2013 Oct 1;57:136-148. doi: 10.1016/j.biombioe.2013.07.002.


The sustained use of cookstoves that are introduced to reduce fuel use or air pollution needs to be objectively monitored to verify the sustainability of these benefits. Quantifying stove adoption requires affordable tools, scalable methods and validated metrics of usage. We quantified the longitudinal patterns of chimney-stove use of 80 households in rural Guatemala, monitored with Stove Use Monitors (SUMs) during 32 months. We counted daily meals and days in use at each monitoring period and defined metrics like the percent stove-days in use (the fraction of days in use from all stoves and days monitored). Using robust Poisson regressions we detected small seasonal variations in stove usage, with peaks in the warm-dry season at 92% stove-days (95%CI: 87%,97%) and 2.56 average daily meals (95%CI: 2.40,2.74). With respect to these values, the percent stove-days in use decreased by 3% and 4% during the warm-rainy and cold-dry periods respectively, and the daily meals by 5% and 12% respectively. Cookstove age and household size at baseline did not affect usage. Qualitative indicators of use from recall questionnaires were consistent with SUMs measurements, indicating stable sustained use and questionnaire accuracy. These results reflect optimum conditions for cookstove adoption and for monitoring in this project, which may not occur in disseminations undertaken elsewhere. The SUMs measurements suggests that 90% stove-days is a more realistic best-case for sustained use than the 100% often assumed. Half of sample reported continued use of open-cookfires, highlighting the critical need to verify reduction of open-fire practices in stove disseminations.

Keywords: Improved stove dissemination; diffusion of innovations; energy use behavior; fuel and stove stacking; indoor air pollution; monitoring and evaluation.