The MECS/LEIA funded EPC competition is the first Global LEAP Award that has focussed on AC appliances designed for households with reliable grid connections. EPCs have been identified by the MECS programme as one of the most energy-efficient electric cooking appliances available, making the biggest energy savings on the most energy intensive dishes, heavy foods (foods that typically require boiling for more than an hour). However, the market for EPCs is nascent, so very few products are designed specifically for these contexts. As a result, the competition was adapted to focus on ‘underserved markets’ thereby encouraging manufacturers who may have designed products for industrialised markets to enter the competition.
39 EPCs were nominated for the Global LEAP awards and will undergo both laboratory and usability testing components. The laboratory testing focusses on energy-efficiency, durability and safety, with the latter particularly important for pressure cooking. As much as we may try to simplify the act of cooking down to a repeatable laboratory test procedure, there is a huge variety in the foods, practices and preferences that shape the way that real people cook. As a result, a user-centred testing component has been designed to explore how well each EPC is able to meet the real needs and aspirations of everyday cooks.
Results if the tests have been delayed significantly but a winner should be announced by the Spring 2021.