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Interim Benchmark for Cooking Stoves revised

According the Government of Nepal, 4 out 5.4 million households in Nepal still rely on biomass as their primary cooking fuel and most of them still use traditional cooking stoves.  As per WHO (2010), 4.2 Million deaths are linked to indoor air pollution produced inefficient stoves worldwide. Acknowledging that even so called “improved cooking stoves” are only a first step towards clean cooking, the Nepal Interim Benchmark for solid biomass Cookstoves (NIBC) put forward by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre is intended to make cooking and heating with biomass less harmful for end users and while also ensuring that stoves are more resource efficient and durable.

The NIBC 2016 came into force in November 2016 and is a revised version of NIBC 2014. The benchmark defines minimum performance levels for thermal efficiency, emissions, user safety and durability for different categories of improved stoves. To be eligible for promotion schemes (such as subsidies) from the Government of Nepal a stove model has to pass the NIBC.

The revision is informed by the results of about 60 stove tests conducted by the national laboratories (Renewable Energy Testing Station and Centre for Rural Technology /RKTC) and continues to follow protocol and procedure recommendations from the ISO TC 285, the technical committee that is in the process of drafting an ISO standard for stove testing. It furthermore incorporated the feedback from the Nepal Alliance for Clean Cooking.

 Particular focus was given to the following issues:

  • NIBC 2014 was not adequately valuing the heating service of combined heating and cooking  stoves despite the large demand for such stoves in the mountainous regions of Nepal
  • Inclusion of durability testing according to ISO TC 285 recommendations
  • Inclusion of institutional ICS


The Benchmark can be accessed here:


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