Just in time for International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re excited to announce that Fenix is scaling up our clean cookstove sales!
At Fenix, our product team constantly assesses our current product line-up and researches future products that will help our customers improve their quality of life. Clean cookstoves have been on our radar for years and are frequently requested by customers.
Over 90% of Ugandans use biomass for cooking, and inefficient charcoal cookstoves are prevalent across the country. These stoves both place families at risk of burns and cause indoor air pollution. Women and girls are disproportionately affected because they spend more time indoors and cooking. With highly efficient clean cookstoves, however, the process of cooking can become safer and healthier. Clean cookstoves reduce particulate matter and air pollution; decrease fuel use, thus saving families money; and can cook food more quickly than open flames.
Fenix piloted clean cookstoves loans over the last six months to determine product demand and the right cookstoves to offer our customers. We sold a variety of stoves out of selected service centers, and solicited customer and sales representative feedback.
Our customers showed high levels of satisfaction with the stoves, and their spending on fuel immediately decreased. Najjemba Scolastica, above, notes “The savings from using the improved cookstove is what I used to pay for the ReadyPay cookstove loan.”
After piloting and testing multiple stoves, we decided to partner with American company EcoZoom, whose stoves were the most highly preferred by our customers. EcoZoom’s stoves are over 70% more efficient in terms of fuel usage, reduce emissions over 50%, and result in up to 20% faster cooking times.
With support from UNCDF and the World Bank, we are now rolling out sales across Uganda, with stoves available in all service centers. Our shared goal is to extend affordable clean cooking solutions to rural, base of the pyramid households. Customers with a good credit score are eligible to purchase the stoves, increasing their monthly commitment to ReadyPay by an amount lower than what they will save on charcoal.
Ben Odongo, product owner, led the pilot and selection process and comments, “It makes me so proud to see a customer repay their clean cookstove loan entirely out of savings income resulting from using the ReadyPay cookstove.” We are thrilled to be offering another energy-saving, life-changing product to our customers, and are particularly excited to offer cookstoves that can transform homes into cleaner, safer environments for women, girls, and whole families.