Safaricom has partnered with M-Gas to launch a prepaid gas service for Kenyan households. The service is expected to empower millions of Kenyan homes to enjoy access to clean, affordable and reliable cooking gas, providing them with the flexibility of purchasing gas based on their needs and how much they can afford at a time.
M-Gas is tackling existing access barriers by eradicating both the upfront cost required for a gas cylinder and gas cooker, often more than KES 6,000 and the high refill cost of KES 2,000 per cylinder. This is because each M-Gas setup will include a gas cylinder and a 2-burner gas cooker which will be provided to customers at no upfront cost. The gas cylinder will come equipped with an innovative smart meter that will show how much gas a customer has paid for and how much they have remaining. Payments will be made through M-PESA with the gas automatically disconnecting when a customer has completely consumed the amount paid for.
Customers will be able to purchase gas from as low as 1 bob through M-PESA. M-Gas is initially launching in the Mukuru kwa Njenga area around its first depot. Safaricom and Community Based Organisations will assist in identifying the next priority areas for expansion.
Gas users will no longer have to grapple with the hassle of managing the replenishment of empty cylinders as the smart meter sends an alert to M-Gas whenever the gas runs low. M-Gas will then dispatch a refilled replacement to the customer, conveniently delivered to the comfort of their homes, at no cost.
The M-Gas solution has been made possible by Safaricom’s Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB IoT) network and M-PESA. Powered by Safaricom’s robust 4G network, NB IoT provides a low-power, mobile connectivity to devices across the country, including to beverage coolers, allowing for remote monitoring and management.
Volker Schultz, Head of M-Gas, had this to say, “M-Gas is proud to be working with Safaricom on this pioneering effort to bring affordable, convenient and clean cooking solutions to millions of low-income households in Kenya. Safaricom is a leader in both technology and customer service and we look forward to building on this exciting new partnership.”