The use of polluted fuels and technologies for cooking, heating and lighting in homes is a health risk for erveryone, particularly for those living in low- and middle-income countries and for women and children who are often responsible for cooking and collecting fuel. Household air pollution causes millions of deaths each year from diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancers, chronic lung disease and pneumonia.
Transitioning to clean cooking, heating and lighting can reduce household air pollution and its associated health burdens. But achieving this requires policies that support clean household energy use. Energy and health practitioners as well as policymakers need to understand which specific policies are successful, why and in what contexts they can be applied. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), developed a Household Energy Policy Repository to serve as an online clearing house for policies, regulations and legislation affecting household energy use at the national, regional and local levels.
What is the Household Energy Policy Repository?
The Repository is a global catalogue of household energy policies that have been implemented since 2010, including evidence of their effectiveness. The Repository is intended to be a knowledge base that can support transitions to cleaner household fuels.
It summarizes policies targeting cooking, heating, and lighting using clean fuels and technologies including electricity, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), biogas, solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV), ethanol, as well as other options like biomass pellets.
Policymakers and other stakeholders can use the Repository to find examples of how other countries have implemented certain policies, understand the challenges that were encountered, and use this information to inform the design of their own policies.
What does the Repository include?
The Repository currently includes information on over 120 clean household energy policies or policy statements from more than 30 countries and the European Union (EU), representing all WHO regions. There are also links to more than 30 independent evaluations that assess the impacts of specific policies.
The repository consists of different types of policies related to household energy such as:
- Financial measures (such as taxes, subsidies, or voucher programmes);
- Regulatory instruments (such as limits or bans on specific fuels, technologies, or activities);
- Trade policies (such as adjusting import duties or entering into regional trade agreements);
- Direct investments in activities (such as research and development, grid expansion, or other infrastructure);
- Codes or standards for energy efficiency or emissions;
- Information campaigns to raise awareness and induce behavioural change.
Who can use the Repository?
The Repository can be used by professionals, practitioners and policy-makers at national, regional and local levels working on issues related to household energy use. Users can also submit new policies, evaluations or other government-led initiatives for inclusion in the Repository.
How to use the Repository?
The Household Energy Policy Repository is part of WHO’s Clean Household Energy Solutions Toolkit (CHEST), “Module 2: Identification of Technological and Policy Interventions”.
The Repository can be accessed through WHO’s website or directly via https://householdenergypolicies.org.
The repository is free of charge and also includes links to further materials and resources. A short video demonstrating the Repository and how to navigate it will also be available through the CHEST website.
To report a problem, ask a question about the Repository, or share feedback, please contact [email protected]
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Household Energy Policy Repository – WHO Webpage
Household Energy Policy Repository
Clean Household Energy Solutions Toolkit (CHEST)
WHO’s Air Quality and Health Team
WHO Guidelines for indoor air quality: Household fuel combustion