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PayGo Energy launches prepaid cooking gas service

By Hilary Kimuyu February 29th, 2020 2 min read

PayGo Energy on Saturday launched a prepaid cooking gas service. This move aims at improving access to cooking gas, particularly for low-income communities.

In this new technological advancement, PayGo uses Cylinder Smart Meter, an IoT device that enables households to pay for gas in small amounts, and enables distributors to provide uninterrupted, customer-centred gas service.

They have partnered with Safari Supa Gas to closely align their vision for the Kenyan market, and how they could complement one another through partnering.

Ashley Berman, Head of Corporate Development PayGo Energy said they believe that by working together they can ensure every household in Kenya has access to clean, affordable cooking gas.

“Safari Supa Gas brings a growing distribution network and the operational expertise required to scale across Kenya. PayGo brings a commercially ready smart meter and software platform, and a focus on continuing to innovate to drive the industry forward,” he said.

Each complete setup of the product will include a filled gas cylinder and a two-burner gas cooker. This will be provided hand in hand with the smart meter. Additionally, they will be installed at no upfront cost.

PayGo’s flagship product is its PayGo and first began operations in Mukuru kwa Reuben in 2016, when the company began piloting its smart metering technology with a handful of local customers.

Fast forward four years and PayGo is now preparing to expand across Kenya, Africa and Asia.

What’s also pioneering about this gas product is the software platform that sits behind it.

“Our staff use web and mobile applications to digitally track every cylinder we put into the market, from our warehouse to our retailers, to our customers. This unlocks powerful data that we will use to lower our distribution costs, ultimately leading to cheaper gas for our customers,” says Flora Njagi, Head of Business Development Safari Supa Gas.

Safari shall know through the PayGo technology not only the geolocation of the meter but also know the rate at which the gas is being consumed.

Once the level is low, Safari customer care shall make a call to the homeowner to arrange for a replacement gas cylinder to be dropped to the home with delivery being free of charge.

The Cylinder Smart Meter is an IoT device that attaches to the top of an LPG cylinder.

Every meter has a unique customer ID, which links to the customer’s account.

The smart meter measures exactly how much gas the customer uses, and charges the customer only for the amount of gas they use.

When the customer runs out of credit, the gas automatically shuts off. When they add additional credit, their account is instantly credited and the gas service resumes.

Customers can top up as little as one shillings at a time.

The pay-as-you-go service works in four easy steps:

1. Customers sign up for pay-as-you-go contract

2. A Safari Supa Gas agent installs a two-burner cookstove, safety equipment, gas cylinder and the PayGo smart meter in the customer’s home.

3. Customers use M-Pesa to purchase gas credit in whatever quantities they choose, with a typical household spending from as little as Sh50 for three meals per day.

4. Safari Supa Gas monitors customer consumption and delivers a new cylinder before the customer ever runs out.