Cover Image
close this bookBoiling Point No. 45 - Low-cost Electrification for Household Energy (ITDG - ITDG, 2000, 44 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentTheme editorial: Low-cost electrification; the need for access to energy services
View the documentRural energy development: an integrated approach in Nepal
View the documentGaining ground in community micro-hydro power development in Kenya
View the documentRural electrification in Nepal: Experiences of an integrative social contextual approach
View the documentFuel for lighting; an expensive commodity
View the documentDemand side management for rural Nepal
View the document‘Micro-privatising’ rural power distribution - mass produced community development in Orissa, India
View the documentGTZ pages
View the documentElectricity for the Urban Poor
View the documentWindpower: Small is beautiful
View the documentManagement of sustainable photovoltaic solar energy in the semi-arid region of the State of Pernambuco, Brazil
View the documentTariffs for rural grid electrification
View the documentFrom candles to compact fluorescents
View the documentConsumer response to mobile solar water heating in the low-income sector, South Africa
View the documentClay Grate Development in Chibau Khera, India
View the documentWhat’s happening in household energy?
View the documentPublications & Letters
View the documentITDG energy news

What’s happening in household energy?

in association with the Household Energy Development Organization’s Network (HEDON)

HEDON website has moved

It can now be found at

The Shell Sustainable Energy Programme

The Shell Foundation is a charity registered in the UK and established in June 2000. One of its programmes is the Shell Sustainable Energy Programme, which will support projects that tackle two fundamental energy-related issues:

- the environmental impact of our global dependence on fossil fuels; and
- the link between energy and poverty in developing countries.

The Sustainable Energy Programme will provide grant funding and other forms of support to groups working in the public interest.

The programme will:

- concentrate on issues where focussed effort will bring significant results;

- work closely with grantees and funding partners to develop projects that deliver observable benefits and use methods applicable elsewhere;

- help grantees communicate their results and lessons learned to key audiences for wider benefit.

In developing countries the programme will give priority to projects whose principal focus is tackling the link between energy access and poverty, but which also deliver environmentally positive outcomes.

Details: Shell Foundation, Shell Centre,
London SE1 7NA, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 207 934 27 27; Fax: +44 (0) 207 934 66 25

Information on ITDG programmes can be found on the inside back cover, and GTZ programmes are described on the centre pages

Traditional household fuel use in developing countries

Funding from the Shell Sustainable Energy Programme will be used to support detailed quantitative analysis, policy assessment and communication of the results of a seven-year, six-country (India, China, Thailand, Brazil, Kenya, and the USA) study. This will be carried out under the direction of Professor Kirk Smith, University of California, into the health and environmental effects of traditional household fuel use in developing countries.

Bonesa and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund - Lighting Up South Africa

(see ‘From candles to compact fluorescents’ - this edition)



Bonesa and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) have joined forces to promote the use of energy efficient lighting technologies. Approximately R1.00 from the sale of each CFL over the duration of the programme will be donated to the NMCF for use by the fund and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Contact: Kathleen Forssman (see linked article for contact details)


eco Ltd is a small private consultant firm based in London that brings together energy, sustainable development and information technology. The company focuses on project, market, and business development, eco Ltd aims to empower local communities and organizations, has extensive experience in renewable energy, project development, project management, and in information technology, and is sponsor of the HEDON internet pages (

Details: website: or contact: Grant Ballard-Tremeer,
tel +44 (0)20 7386 7930
fax +44 (0)870 137 2360,

Aprovecho institute

(see also ‘Publications)

Aprovecho Research Center has been working with Trees, Water and People to introduce more efficient griddle type stoves in Honduras and Nicaragua. The stoves are based on Dr. Larry Winiarski’s Rocket stove principles using an internal chimney above the combustion chamber to promote clean combustion. Wood ash is a great natural insulation and is used in the many variations of Aprovecho’s stoves. HELPS International is beginning to disseminate a poured cement griddle type stove later this year in the highlands of Guatemala. The stoves are poured into fibre-glass moulds made in Guatemala City and available to village craftspeople.

Contact: Dean Still, Appropriate Technology Coordinator, Aprovecho
Research Center, 80574 Hazelton Road,
Cottage Grove, Oregon 97424 USA.
(541) 942-8198

9th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate Monterey, California, June 30 - July 5, 2002

Indoor Air Pollution from household biomass and coal combustion is a major contributor to poor health (it has been estimated to account for nearly 2 million excess deaths per year) and this is gradually gaining recognition in international circles. Although this conference will not be dedicated to indoor air quality issue in developing countries it is sure to be a major area of discussion. Call for Abstracts will be issued in the Spring of 2001 and will be due in the later part of the year. More information can be found on the website:

Project Gaia

(see BP no. 43 page 28 - for related article)

Project GAIA are introducing methanol with a cheap non-pressure stove, which can be used interchangeably with ethanol, as a domestic fuel in developing countries is working to get a 50-ton per day local methanol plant installed in an African country to use flared natural gas.

This will be preceded by or done concurrently with, a 1000 stove market pilot study. The GAIA project is seeking interest in such pilots in other countries.

Contact Andy Stokes, Stokes Consulting Group, Naples, Florida.
Tel: 941-775-3439
Fax: 941-775-3438

Some candles emit dangerous levels of lead

(Abridged from Unisci:; 07-Oct-1999)

A University of Michigan School of Public Health study of candles shows that some candles on the market today are made with wicks that have either lead or lead cores that emit potentially dangerous levels of lead into the air. Not all candles are made with wicks that have metallic cores. The practice is primarily used with candles that are needed to burn longer, such as scented or ceremonial candles. A metal core is used to provide rigidity to the wick

Cast cement stoves, insulated with wood ash, that Aprovecho and HELPS International have co-designed in Guatemala.


The study is by Jerome Nriagu, a professor of environmental health sciences, who examined lead emissions from 15 different brands of candles made in the United States, Mexico and China. Nriagu found that metal cores in Chinese candles were made of either pure lead or lead alloy. After burning the candle for one hour, the lead levels in the air of an enclosed space were estimated to range from 0.04 to 13.1 mg/m3, which compares to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommendation of 1.5 mg/m3 for ambient air. After five hours, the lead levels had risen to an estimated 0.21 to 65.3 mg/m3.

Regular exposure to lead in this manner in confined spaces could pose health risks to people with weak immune systems, especially children and the elderly. Some of the most damaging effects of lead poisoning of young children include learning disabilities, reduced psychometric intelligence and behavioral disorders. These effects have been associated with long-term low-level exposure to lead and are believed to be irreversible.