Energy Fact Sheet: Improving Cooking Technology (2014)


Charcoal is produced all over the Haitian countryside, with more than 90 percent of Haitian energy needs met through the use of firewood and charcoal.  In Port-au-Prince, at least 30 percent of family income is spent on purchasing charcoal for cooking.  In addition to the economic burden of charcoal dependency, charcoal production has devastating environmental consequences for the entire country.  Charcoal production begins with the felling or pruning of live trees, which has contributed to mass deforestation throughout Haiti, in turn increasing soil erosion and leaving Haiti more vulnerable to severe weather, including flash floods and mudslides.  Furthermore, charcoal use exposes women and children to “indoor air pollution,” which leads to respiratory illness and approximately 3,000 premature deaths in Haiti each year.
To address these problems, USAID implements the Improved Cooking Technology Program.  In close consultation with the Government of Haiti, we are working with the private sector and Haitian civil society to develop a thriving market for clean cooking solutions, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and improved biomass cook stoves.



USAID’s program aims to create a sustainable market for clean and affordable cooking solutions, which limit deforestation and reduce “indoor air pollution.”


  • Identify a cookstove technology that demonstrates the strongest performance, based on efficiency, emissions, and safety.
  • Develop a manufacturing base of entrepreneurs and/or companies to establish reliable production of the new cookstoves and create effective distribution channels for the products.
  • Strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for liquid petroleum gas to encourage private sector investment in the sector.
  • Build demand for improved cookstoves with social marketing and behavior change communications campaigns to educate consumers on the benefits of the selected cookstoves and the negative consequences of charcoal use.
  • Retrain charcoal workers and integrate them into the production or distribution of the new cookstoves or into alternative businesses.
  • Develop financing solutions to enable consumers to purchase the new cookstoves.
  • Provide business development support to biomass stove manufacturers and retailers to improve the sustained marketing and sales of the product.


  • More than 33,000 improved biomass stoves were sold in Port-au-Prince (PAP).
  • The project has operationalized 189 sales points in PAP for distributing improved charcoal stoves.
  • More than 62,000 LPG cookstoves sold to households in Port-au-Prince.
  • More than 1,300 street food vendors have made the switch from charcoal to natural gas.
  • More than 90 technicians have been trained on LPG stove repair and maintenance.
  • Partnered with SONAPI Industrial park and a Haitian propane gas distributor to con-vert the park’s public dining area from charcoal to LPG, saving about 640 tons of charcoal since May 2013.
  • There has been a reduction of more than $12.056 million in en-ergy expenditures by commercial and household users as a result of this program.

Additional Information

Budget: $8.2 million
Life of Project: January 2012 – January 2015
Implementing Partner: Chemonics International, Inc.


Last updated: August 14, 2015

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