How Does MEC Incorporate the Research from UC Berkeley (Gill-Wiehl et al) in its Work? 

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Posted: January 28, 2024

As a project developer, MEC read Gill-Wiehl’s original research with interest. We are always trying to keep on the cutting edge using the best possible methodologies. Technology is continuously changing and we are evolving with it. As our CEO April Allderdice writes here, the methodologies will continue to change and improve over time. Moreover, it is our company's value that constructive criticism is a valuable catalyst for progress.  The great news is that MEC has already been applying most of the suggestions for monitoring integrity. Here are some of the suggestions from the paper that MEC is already implementing:

  • The Usage Surveys are done physically and hence are based on the actual observations of the enumerators on the ground. There is minimal risk of recall bias as households are not asked to “recall” their use over the monitoring period. 
  • MEC uses Kitchen Performance Tests which are considered robust.
  • MEC already avoids social desirability bias by not relying solely on the household response, but rather on in-person observation of the home and photos. 
  • MEC carries out Kitchen Performance Tests in both dry and wet seasons to establish any difference in use. The conservative value between the wood used in any of these seasons is used for calculating the emission reductions.
  • MEC uses a higher sample size of 60-80 households for KPTs.
  • MEC usage rates range from 53-85% which is in line with independent literature 
  • MEC’s projects apply the TPDDTEC v3.1 methodology however the baseline wood consumption does not go beyond the thresholds given in the TPDDTEC v4 methodology. This measure has been incorporated to ensure that the value of wood consumption is based on the latest available research and guidance from the methodology. Note that MEC is not required to apply these thresholds as they are not mandated under TPDDTEC v3.1.
  • MEC VPA project boundaries are carefully chosen to minimize the risk of heterogeneity within a VPA.
  • An additional safeguard is applied by MEC VPAs in that whenever there are multiple states within the same VPA, Usage Surveys and KPTs are done per state. This ensures that heterogeneity concerning size, age of family members, type of food, etc. is accounted for.
  • MEC projects are well within the 0.75 ton/capita/year (~3.2 MJ-delivered/capita/day) threshold and hence well below 3.2 MJ/capita/day.
  • MEC uses the highly regarded Gold Standard methodology for its cookstove projects in India. 
  • MEC is using the Gold Standard metered cooking methodology for its new electric cooking POA.

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