- 25th May 2021
The Efficiency for Access Coalition is excited to conclude 2020 Global LEAP Awards Electric Pressure Cooker (EPC) Competition and announce results of the usability testing. A total 9 EPCs from 8 companies participated in the usability testing in Nairobi, Kenya and detailed information is now available in the newly published Electric Pressure Cooker Usability Testing Buyer’s Guide.
EPCs are a new generation of electric cooking technology that offer an alternative to biomass cookstoves while presenting a long-term solution to biomass fuel-driven environmental degradation and a viable path towards the eradication of indoor air pollution. However, EPC product design does not always reflect the needs and aspirations of the everyday cooks who will use the appliances, and this lack of consumer-focused design inhibits EPC uptake in high impact markets. The 2020 Global LEAP Awards EPC Competition addressed this challenge by including an innovative usability testing process to complement the laboratory performance and safety testing results.
“Being able to cook a tasty meal is the ultimate purpose of these appliances and will be core to their sustained use,” said Dr. Simon Batchelor, MECS Research Coordinator. “The EPC usability testing ensures that the results from the laboratory are confirmed by real everyday use and real meals. It ensures that these appliances perform to the expectations of ordinary people.”
The competition deployed EPCs to kitchens of Kenyan households and invited users to gather each product energy consumption, provide feedback on their experiences cooking and evaluation on the quality of food cooked. Users comprised of new EPC users and those with at least one year of prior experience cooking with EPCs. Innovation prizes totaling $100,000 were awarded to Von VSCP60MMX and Instant Pot Duo 80 for Best User Experience and BURN MY-8001 for Best Value.
The 2020 Global LEAP Awards EPC Competition was implemented by CLASP in partnership with the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme, and funded by UK aid.
Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) is a five-year programme funded by UK Aid (FCDO) which aims to spark a revolution through rapidly accelerating the transition from biomass to clean cooking on a global scale. By integrating modern energy cooking services into energy planning, MECS looks to leverage investment in renewable energies (particularly regarding electricity access, both grid and off-grid) to address the clean cooking challenge. Modern energy cooking is Tier 5 clean cooking, and therefore MECS also supports new innovations in other relevant cooking fuels such as biogas, LPG (bio) and ethanol. The intended outcome is a market-ready range of innovations (technology and business models) that lead to improved choice of affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy cooking services for consumers. We seek to have the MECS principles adopted in the SDG 7.1 global tracking framework and hope that participating countries will incorporate modern energy cooking services in energy policies and planning.
For more information, visit www.mecs.org.uk or follow us @UKMECS on Twitter.
The Global LEAP Awards is an international competition to identify and promote the world’s best off-grid appliances, accelerating market development and innovation. This unique program has evolved into a trusted global brand that serves as the de facto source of accurate, actionable information about the quality and energy performance of off-grid appliances. The Global LEAP Awards is implemented through the Efficiency for Access Coalition and managed by CLASP. For more information, visit www.globalleapawards.org or follow @LEAP_Awards on Twitter.