Mongolian Insulation and Efficient Stoves
In the world’s coldest capital, the poorest households spend up to 40% of their monthly winter income on heating fuels. Designed specifically for the Ger (‘yurt’) districts of the city, improved, efficient stoves and advanced insulation ‘blankets’ reduce heating fuel requirements and costs by as much as 60%. The project partners with a micro finance institution to make the stoves and insulation affordable to households. In the first 3 years, up to the end of 2012, the project has reached 100,000 households with a plan to double that impact in the following three years.
Based in Ulan Bator, this Gold Standard project has set up supply and distribution chains for the stove and insulation products; supporting local production, creating jobs and reducing indoor air pollution and fuel costs.
A ger, also known as a yurt, is a portable felt-covered dwelling that is a low-cost alternative to a house for many Mongolians. They are quickly assembled and have proliferated in Ulan Bator as people migrate to the city in an attempt to escape rural poverty.
Currently 91% of gers are only insulated with single or double layers. The five layer ger ‘blanket’ sold in the project goes over the home and is comprised of layers of wool or felt covered in a waterproof layer. This insulation alone reduces the home’s heating fuel requirement by up to 50%.
The project also distributes four types of stoves which are appropriate for different sized homes. These were selected after product testing 14 different possibilities. The efficient stoves are coal fuelled and stand in the centre of the ger, just like the traditional stoves. However, the new stoves are designed with a highly insulated combustion chamber to retain heat for longer and a higher temperature than the traditional versions. Currently 88% of households use a traditional, inefficient stove for cooking and heating, and the new stove enables households to keep their homes warmer while using less fuel. In addition the stoves reduce indoor smoke by at least 80%.
Ulan Bator is the coldest national capital in the world. The city has brief, warm summers and long, cold and dry winters. Winter temperatures can average -20°C and the heating season lasts about eight months from September to April. This puts significant strain on the vulnerable families living in the poorest parts of the city that typically spend up to 40% of their monthly winter income on heating fuels.