Safari Supa Gas and PayGo Energy have unveiled a gas refill service that will see customers only pay gas that they need. Will that be the most affordable, cheapest, cooking gas system to be adopted in the Country?
Gas Yetu Concept
When Government announced a subsidized gas project in October 2016, it brought a ray of hope for Kenyans who often relied on firewood and kerosene, two energy sources that are not only inefficient but had them breathing in toxic fumes.
Mwananchi Gas project was to sell under the Gas Yetu brand and was meant to safeguard the poor from respiratory diseases caused by the use of firewood for cooking. It was also meant to contain the rampant destruction of forests.
In 2017 Gas Yetu was allocated Ksh2.2 billion for the period 2017-2019. A further Ksh700 million was allocated through a supplementary budget raising the total cost of the project to Ksh2.9 billion.
The project would have seen millions of households receive subsidized 6kg cooking gas cylinders at a cost of Ksh2,000.5 million households were targeted with the Gas Yetu cylinders fitted with burners and grills. The beneficiaries would refill them at a cost of only Ksh840 per cylinder.
The tycoon has also pocketed a significant number of MPs ensuring that any parliamentary committee investigations go his way.
To date, there have been more than five investigations on the unfair monopoly by his companies including Grain Bulk Handling Limited (GBHL) but no action has been taken. Allegedly through bribery, Jaffer has now completely taken over the imports, distribution and retail business in the LPG sector undercutting other companies and driving them out of business altogether.
Suits filed in Court against Pro Gas, Energy Ministry and EPRA are often thrown out as he bribes witnesses and threatens anyone who comes in his way.
Cheapest Kenyan Cooking Gas System
The new technology, which is powered by PayGo Energy’s patented Cylinder Smart Meter, lets consumers purchase cooking gas through a prepaid system. The smart meter operates on a sim device that relays a customer’s information using a cellular network.
Safari Supa Gas Head of Business Development Flora Njagi said the system removes the upfront cost needed for buying a gas cylinder besides a need to buy a complete refill at once.
“When we entered the market in December last year, we realized that many consumers could not afford the upfront cost of purchasing or refilling a whole cylinder of cooking gas,” Ms. Njagi said.
It is currently being used in Nairobi’s informal settlements such as Kawangware and Mukuru kwa Njenga. However, there are plans to roll it out to the rest of the country.
“Currently, more than 400 residents of Mukuru kwa Reuben are enjoying the system since it was first piloted in 2016,” she said.
Ms Njagi states that the solution is cost-effective as customers only ever have to pay for as much gas as they use.
“When customers sign up for the product we dispatch a technician to install the system into homes. Worrying about running out of gas will become a thing of the past. With this new system we know when the cylinder is running low. The system will alert us and we will dispatch an agent to swap the cylinder at no delivery cost,” Ms. Njagi added that the complete kit consists of a two-burner cookstove, a gas cylinder, safety equipment, and a Cylinder Smart Meter.
PayGo co-founder and CEONick Quintong said the new system will unlock new markets for the gas industry. He said the technology, enabled by the Internet of Things, has the power to make clean cooking gas affordable and accessible for over three billion people across the world.