Clean cooking for the next billion
PayGo is seeking to unlock clean energy for the next billion. This ambitious mission was forged in 2015 in Nairobi’s informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Reuben. Walking the streets, the founders noticed long queues for the charcoal and kerosene stalls on every corner but no availability of the far safer and more efficient Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). They quickly discovered the problem was packaging. LPG is only sold by the cylinder – a 6kg cylinder provides 40 days of cooking fuel but for households with no steady income, the price of a cylinder is totally unreachable, forcing them back on to daily buckets of charcoal and kerosene.
The PayGo team began by putting a cylinder of gas and a cooking stove in ten households, which they visited daily to weigh the cylinder by hand, charging the customer only for the gas they had consumed in the previous 24 hours. Having proven that households prefer to use LPG as long as it is affordable, PayGo developed a Cylinder Smart Meter that automated the measurement and enabled pre-payment by M-Pesa. Over the years, PayGo’s Cylinder Smart Meter has been refined and the customer service team has grown but the essential solution remains – to provide clean, safe and affordable LPG in a customer’s kitchen on a pay-as-you-use basis.
PayGo Energy customer
“Before PayGo, gas was very expensive and the only options I had was to use kerosene and charcoal to cook. Since I started using PayGo, cooking has been affordable. Even with Ksh 50 I can cook my meals stress-free.”