Rwanda Efficient Cookstove Distribution Program

Traditional cookstoves, which burn solid wood fuel for cooking and heating, create dangerous household air pollution. Improved cookstoves offer a solution to the serious health, environmental, and economic impacts. Through results-based carbon finance payments Ci-Dev is supporting Inyenyeri, a local energy utility company in Rwanda, to scale-up an innovative business model that reduces the cost of highly efficient clean cookstoves and makes them accessible to rural communities.  

Ci-Dev will purchase 600,000 emissions reductions, generated from the distribution of efficient cookstoves. These carbon funds will allow Inyenyeri to offer the highly efficient cookstoves with pellets at an affordable price for both rural and urban Rwandans.  

The utility-like model allows customers to only pay for the service received, not the tools to use it. The stoves are leased for free, in return for buying or trading sustainably-harvested and -collected wood for the fuel pellets. The Inyenyeri Fuel+Stove system cuts household air pollution by more than 90 percent, while reducing the amount of wood needed to cook by a similar amount as compared to charcoal. And it costs customers 30 percent less than charcoal.  

From 2017-2019, since the program began, the company’s customer base has doubled. Inyenyeri has also used the Ci-Dev emission reduction purchase agreement (ERPA) to secure up-front private debt and equity financing, specifically a loan from London-based financier Althelia Climate Fund.

The project is an example of how results-based finance can be used to help a private sector business unlock capital needed to reach scale.   


Jan 2019 World Bank feature story: Beyond Charcoal: How One Company Helps Rwandan Families Save their Health and the Environment, One Cookstove at a Time

Dec 2018 The New York Times: Toxic Smoke Is Africa’s Quiet Killer. An Entrepreneur Says His Fix Can Make a Fortune

Oct 2017 Inyenyeri: A Bold Plan for Clean Cookstoves