SOLAR HOUSEHOLD ENERGY INC

Solar cooking for human development and environmental relief

aka SHE, Inc.   |   Washington, DC   |  www.she-inc.org

Mission

Solar Household Energy (SHE) leverages the power of solar cooking to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in sun-rich areas around the world.

Over half the world's population relies on wood, charcoal or other biomass for daily cooking, leading to respiratory diseases, economic hardship, environmental degradation, and carbon emissions. Solar cooking offers a practical, affordable, and sustainable alternative.

Since 1998, Solar Household Energy has worked with non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs and public sector entities to promote solar cooking. We help to introduce the technology in developing countries through making suitable devices available within the context of comprehensive training initiatives, including progress monitoring and project evaluation.

Ruling year info

2001

Executive Director

Ms Sophie B Lyman

Main address

3327 18th St. NW

Washington, DC 20010 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

31-1645471

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Management & Technical Assistance (E02)

Nonmonetary Support N.E.C. (P19)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Three billion people – nearly half the world population – still burn wood, charcoal, animal dung, crop residue or coal for their daily cooking and heating needs. Environmental impacts include air pollution, climate change, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity. Health impacts from exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves include over 4 million premature deaths annually and a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as pneumonia, lung cancer, heart disease, low birth-weight, and burns. Reliance on inefficient stoves and solid fuels places economic burdens on families, as time spent collecting fuel or cooking for their families, means less time for women and girls to work in the paid economy or remain in school. Women are disproportionately impacted by the health and economic impacts of traditional cooking. Refugees, internally displaced people, and other crisis-affected populations lack access to clean cookstoves and fuels for cooking.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Solar cooking education and advocacy

Initiatives include:
- Solar cooking demonstrations both in the greater Washington, DC area and at events across the U.S. and in other countries.
- Meetings and presentations at government agencies, international organizations and international conferences
-Publications on solar cooking
- Participating as a partner in the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, under the leadership of the U.N. Foundation, and advising on the potential for solar cooking as part of the global solution to replace open cooking fires.

Population(s) Served

SHE, as part of a ten-member consortium, is developing and teaching the first solar cooking course at a the University of Notre Dame of Haiti at Hinche. This course aims to enable students to disseminate solar cooking practices and technology in nearby communities. They will also learn to make their own solar cookers, and create financial self-help groups in nearby communities to lay the ground for future solar cooker manufacturing and sales.

From 2015 to 2017, SHE partnered with the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) to distribute 25 "SolSource" parabolic solar cookers, and previously (2011-2013) with The Nature Conservancy and Grupo Jaragua to disseminate 30 Sun Ovens.

 Deforestation has long been a serious problem for Haiti, resulting in erosion and landslides and fuel shortages. Since the 2010 earthquake, the need for cooking fuel, primarily charcoal, has become an even greater challenge, further stressing the island’s forests. Although the DR, which shares a long border with Haiti on the same island has had greater success with limiting deforestation, supply and cost of cooking fuel is still a difficulty for many of its people. 

Grupo Jaragua, located in the border region of the DR and Haiti, works with local leaders and grass-roots organizations to introduce solar cooking to communities, train local cooks, and facilitate the adoption and use of the Sun Ovens by households. Solar cooking permits families to save much of the meager household income that they would have spent on fuel, or the time they would have spent collecting wood. Regular solar cooking prevents trees from being cut for fuelwood or charcoal and leaves agricultural byproducts to improve the soil.  The carbon-offset program, Kyoto Twist, estimates that each Sun Oven used for at least 1/3 of a household’s cooking can offset up to one ton of CO per year, or 25 tons over the oven’s lifespan. The health benefits for women and children from reduced inhalation of smoke from cooking fires are also well documented. Grupo Jaragua combines the Sun Oven program with other community programs including literacy, micro-lending and reforestation. The Sun Ovens are produced in the DR at the El Fuego del Sol factory, which follows Fair Trade manufacturing standards and provides local jobs. El Fuego del Sol also coordinates trips to the island for ecotourists interested in the Sun Oven program and other ecological issues.

Population(s) Served

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees contracted Solar Household Energy to introduce HotPot solar ovens into the Gaga refugee camp in Chad and provide training in their use.  These solar ovens were extremely well received and improved the lives of the users.  SHE would now like to expand this project to a larger number of households within the camp and to other camps in the region.  SHE is seeking funding to assist us with HotPot production costs and obtaining Gold Standard carbon credit certification to reduce the costs of providing solar cooking for Chad.

Population(s) Served

Since 2003, SHE has been conducting solar cooking projects in rural Mexico, and this work continues today. SHE developed the "HotPot" solar cooker, established local production by a Mexican company, and partnered with the "Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza" to disseminate over 20,000 HotPots throughout Mexico.

SHE is currently supporting Mexican solar cooking expert Lorena Harp in her dream to bring solar cooking to the rural women of Oaxaca State through a sustainable social enterprise. She is introducing an affordable but durable panel-style solar cooker called the Haines Solar Cooker (HSC). Prior to launch of the initiative, Lorena conducted local market research and optimized the Haines solar cooker for local consumer preferences. She then trained three rural women to become “solar cooking ambassadors” to sell HSCs for 500 pesos (about $25 USD) on a commission basis (earning 200 pesos, about $10 USD) to members of their communities and provide follow-up support to maximize adoption of this alternative cooking model.

Ambassadors sold 50 solar cookers between February and May 2018. By 2020, Lorena Harp, supported by SHE, sold over 400 solar cookers, manufacturing them locally. As sales increase, SHE’s subsidies will decrease, allowing the social enterprise to gradually gain financial independence.

Population(s) Served

On April 29, 2017, a Solar Cooker Festival for 500 schoolchildren was held at the vast Kakuma refugee community. Inexpensive, durable solar panel cookers called Haines-Copenhagen cookers were assembled in Kakuma by refugees from materials donated by Haines Solar Cookers.
A 2016 study by World Food Program (WFP) engineer Godfrey Mawira, one of the main project implementer on the ground, showed that solar cooking was the second-most preferred method of cooking in Kakuma, even though very few solar cookers were available. Godfrey Mawira is the CEO and Founder of Eco-mandate, Ltd, a solar cookers seller, renewable energy promoter and research firm based in East Africa.

In 2018, local manufacturing of Haines solar cookers, and thus sales, were put on hold as
Roger Haines perfected his design of the Haines solar cooker, resulting in the Haines 2.0, or “H20” solar cooker. The H20 solar cooker is made from the same raw materials (reflective metalized polyester foam, and transparent polycarbonate sheets) as the original Haines solar cooker, but it is 40% more powerful, and easier to assemble and use.

In 2019, Eco-mandate will manufacture and sell Haines 2.0 solar cookers from the same raw materials that were used to make the 500 Haines Copenhaguen solar cookers for last year’s Festival. Materials for hundreds more solar cookers are in a warehouse in Nairobi.

SHE is looking for funding to help kick-start Ecomandate’s enterprise to sell Haines 2.0 solar cookers, and to learn lessons from the Kakuma Festival distribution of 500 Haines-Copenhaguen solar cookers to schoolchildren.

Population(s) Served

In 2016, SHE board member Roger Haines spearheaded a project to distribute 500 Haines solar cookers to low-income families in Gulu and Atiak in Uganda, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Gulu, and with funding from San Diego Rotary Club, with the Alliance for African Assistance (AAA) in Gulu implementing the project on the ground. This free distribution of solar cookers in 2016 succeeded in creating a demand for Haines solar cookers.

In 2017, AAA, supported by SHE and other partners, started making, marketing, selling and training people on using Haines Solar Cookers, naming the project “Go Green! Cook with no smoke, no sweat!” Over forty Haines solar cookers were sold in 2017.

In 2018, local manufacturing of Haines solar cookers, and thus sales, were put on hold as Roger Haines perfected his design of the Haines solar cooker, resulting in the Haines 2.0, or “H20” solar cooker. The H20 solar cooker is made from the same raw materials (reflective metalized polyester foam, and transparent polycarbonate sheets) as the original Haines solar cooker, but it is 40% more powerful, and easier to assemble and use. Manufacturing of H20 solar cookers commenced a few months ago, with 10 H20 solar cookers sold so far thanks to "Table Banking Groups,” financial self-help village groups.

As the region bordering Uganda and Southern Sudan, the current insurgency in Southern Sudan has made Northern Uganda home to over 180,000 refugees, all of whom need a reliable source of energy for preparing their daily meals.
Roger Haines is also planning a pilot project near Palabek refugee camp distributing 33 Haines 2.0 solar cookers. Unfortunately, the discovery of a 30% tax on NGOs operating in this camp made this project financially unfeasible. But a work-around has been found: H20 solar cookers will be sold in Ogili, the nearest center (less than 1 km) to Palabek Refugee settlement camp, with training slots reserved for refugees. The San Diego Rotary Clubs fund the project, the Alliance for African Assistance in Gulu manages manufacturing and sales of solar cookers, the African Refugee Education Project funds and manages the refugee aspect of the project, Solar Connect Association based in Gulu will provide training, and SHE will collaborate on project evaluation.

Population(s) Served

SHE’s ongoing R&D efforts represent a fundamental element of our strategy to disseminate solar cooking technology. While the state of the art of solar cooking device model design has come a long way over the years, there is more progress to be made in bringing efficient, durable and affordable solar cookers to places where they can be put to use. Long-time board member Paul Arveson, a retired engineer, leads SHE’s R&D efforts.
- Measuring Solar Irradiance with a Sun Tracker for the Solar Cooker Power Standards
- Infrared Imagery of HotPot and Haines Dutch Oven
- Infrared imaging to identify heat loss in the Haines Solar Cooker
- Test Procedure for Cooking Pot Heat Loss Measurement
- Thermal Performance of Some Mexican Cooking Pots
- Preliminary Work on Gasket-Making for Cooking Pots

Research: Advancing the development of international solar cooker power measurement standards
The lab testing standard, ISO-19867-1, has reached the stage of Draft International Standard, and it will be released soon to the public. The field testing standard is expected to reach this stage early in 2018. Both standards refer to the ASAE S.580.1 standard protocol for power measurements of solar cookers. The scope of both standards includes solar cookers, as well as biomass and (in some cases) liquid and gas fueled cookstoves. Ensuring solar cookers were kept in the drafts required careful vigilance and frequent discussions. There will be future periodic updates of the standards, so additional solar cooker standards could be included if there is a consensus to do so among member states. Dr. Paul Funk, Paul Arveson and Alan Bigelow attended plenary meetings in Kenya, Ghana and Nepal respectively to participate in working groups developing these standards. We also appreciate leaders including Ranyee Chiang (Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves), John Mitchell (US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) and Jim Jetter (US EPA testing lab) for their support and guidance.
Having the solar cooker power protocol included in an international standard will provide a fair and scientific basis for comparing power for all household-scale solar cooker types. Moreover, the ASAE S.580.1 document is an open standard that is freely available. Solar Household Energy and Solar Cookers International (SCI) have developed instruments and software that can be used to measure solar cookers in accordance with the protocol. We hope that these efforts over the past four years to establish standards for solar cookers will add credibility to the whole industry.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Development Marketplace Grantee 2004

World Bank

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people working at the SME/Coop/Enterprise on a part-time basis (< 35 hours per week) as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Solar cookers for Mexico

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Solar cooker ambassadors retail solar cookers in their rural communities. They promote them, train customers in their use, evaluate usage, and provide customer service. They are paid on commission.

Number of carbon emissions prevented (estimated by CO2 equivalent)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Solar cookers for Mexico

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Evaluation results showed average wood savings of 40%. This corresponds to 1.74tCO2 emissions savings per HSC per year. Multiplied by # HSC sold each year, cumulatively.

Additional revenue and wages generated attributable to the organization's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Solar cookers for Mexico

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2017-18, solar cookers were sold for 500 pesos, or around 25 USD, with 200 pesos as the retailer/ambassadors' commissions, and the rest going towards operational costs. In 2019, the price was 32USD

Number of health/hygiene product and/or tools of care (mosquito nets, soap, etc.) administered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Solar cookers for Mexico

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of solar cookers sold to customers in rural, marginalized communities in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Solar Household Energy (SHE) leverages the power of solar cooking to improve social, economic and environmental conditions in sun-rich areas around the world.

Over half the world's population relies on wood, charcoal or other biomass for daily cooking, leading to respiratory diseases, economic hardship, environmental degradation, and carbon emissions. Solar cooking offers a practical, affordable, and sustainable alternative.

Solar Household Energy works in three main areas. We a)Implement Field Projects and Report on Results b) Foster Technology Research and Development and c) Raise Awareness and Advance Education.
Since 1998, Solar Household Energy has worked with non-governmental organizations, entrepreneurs and public sector entities to promote solar cooking with modern solar ovens, including the “HotPot" developed by SHE. We help to introduce the technology in developing countries through making suitable devices available within the context of comprehensive training initiatives, including progress monitoring and project evaluation.

SHE is a small, efficient non-profit organization with far-reaching impact, thanks to the combined experience, knowledge and passion of its team members. SHE's team is comprised of 8 Board members who also lead SHE projects on a half-time to full-time volunteer basis, one part-time paid Executive Director, and two part-time staff as needed for bookkeeping and IT issues, as well as temporary volunteers and interns. All of SHE's Board members and staff have extensive experience in the fields of international development, hailing from institutes such as the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the Alliance for African Assistance, Conservation International, USAID, Peace Corps, and others.

SHE is one the leaders in the solar cooking movement, with a strong history of partnerships with internationally recognized leaders in their field. Those include the World Bank, the Mexican Fund for the Conversation of Nature, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, University of California at Berkeley, the Nature Conservancy, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, and the International Standards Organization. On the ground, we collaborate with local organizations with expertise in their own conditions and culture, to identify their needs and strive to meet these with the most suitable cooking technologies. Sometimes those include, as a complement to solar cookers, highly efficient hydrocarbon fuel consuming cookstoves. From our humanitarian field projects introducing various types of solar cookers in Mexico, Mali, El Salvador, Senegal, Haiti, and Chad, to our new projects supporting the launch of solar cooker social enterprises in the marketplace in Uganda, Mexico, Kenya, and Haiti, we have seen first-hand the benefits of solar cooking as a positive tool for human development and environmental relief.

Financials

SOLAR HOUSEHOLD ENERGY INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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SOLAR HOUSEHOLD ENERGY INC

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. David Grossman

International Programs for the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)

Term: 2020 - 2023

Paul Arveson

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Louise Meyer

Solar cooking expert and advocate

Roger Haines

Haines Solar Cookers, LLC

Margarita Battle

Solar cooking expert and advocate

Janet Murphy

Green TV

Odile Brock

Solar cooking expert and advocate

Richard Stolz

Stolz communications

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No