SOLUTIONS

Eventifying LPG a clean cooking alternative through technology

One promising approach is to facilitate the home delivery of LPG.

In Summary

•Kenya has set an ambitious target of transitioning 4.4 million households from kerosene and charcoal to LPG by 2028.

•The introduction of smart metering and pay-as-you-cook models represents a game-changer in the LPG sector. 

PETER MULWA
PETER MULWA

A dear friend once told me, "Peter, in this modern era, ignorance is a choice we need not make.

Technology has expanded our horizons, especially in accessing and applying knowledge." I find the same sentiment applicable when it comes to our choice of cooking fuels.

In the 21st century, it's unacceptable for our citizens to endure hospital queues due to respiratory ailments caused by wood or charcoal cooking.

Children shouldn't miss school trekking long distances for firewood. And we must safeguard our environment for future generations by reducing emissions.

LPG stands out as a modern and clean solution for both domestic and commercial heating needs, offering immense potential to improve public health and environmental sustainability.

Kenya has set an ambitious target of transitioning 4.4 million households from kerosene and charcoal to LPG by 2028.

While the government aims to convert 1.3 million households, the private sector is expected to play a pivotal role in transitioning the remaining 3.1 million households.

To achieve this transition successfully, we must adopt innovative strategies that address the key challenges hindering LPG adoption which are price, accessibility, and safety.

One promising approach is to facilitate the home delivery of LPG. The Covid-19 season brought the necessity for online purchases and home delivery of goods. This has become the new normal with customers preferring home deliveries.

LPG delivery by retailers will make it more convenient for consumers to access and use.

Retailers should go ahead and install the cylinders for people who lack knowledge on how to do it and even people who require special assistance such as persons with disability and the elderly.

The real estate industry is another avenue that will propel achievement of the strategy.

With the country seeming like a construction site with new buildings sprouting like mushrooms, the LPG industry can take advantage of this boom in the real estate industry to make headways into residential and commercial buildings.

Establishing a robust reticulation system in upcoming buildings for LPG distribution can expand its reach to more households and businesses, ensuring widespread adoption.

Implementing cylinder tracking, as mandated by the LPG regulations of 2019, is another crucial step towards enhancing safety and traceability throughout the lifecycle of LPG cylinders.

Cylinder tracking along the supply chain through systems such as GPS and bar code scanning can ensure is a great way of guarantees cylinder quality and eliminating malpractices such as illegal refilling.  

Another tactic is leveraging the power of digital platforms for consumer education which can significantly increase awareness and acceptance of LPG as a viable cooking alternative.

With Kenya's substantial internet and mobile phone penetration rates, these platforms offer a cost-effective and scalable means of reaching a wide audience.

The introduction of smart metering and pay-as-you-cook models represents a game-changer in the LPG sector.

These models allow users to monitor their gas consumption accurately and pay for what they use, making LPG more affordable and accessible, particularly for low-income households and those in informal settlements.

This approach aligns with the "kadogo economy" concept, which has proven successful in the retail sector and can be equally effective in promoting LPG uptake.

Furthermore, integrating sensors for leak detection systems in homes, commercial buildings, and other LPG-utilizing facilities is crucial for ensuring safety and preventing potential hazards.

The sensors should also be applied to cylinders to help customers track their usage and leakages.

The country stands to leap from the uptake of LPG as a result of technology deployment.

Employment has been a concern for our country, the LPG sector supply chain has the potential to employ thousands of young people. The benefits on health and the environment cannot be gainsaid.

As various sectors such as telecommunications, transportation, and healthcare continue to harness the power of technology for progress, it's imperative that the LPG industry also embraces technological innovations.

By doing so, we can drive the growth of LPG as a clean and sustainable cooking solution, benefiting not only individuals and communities but also the environment at large.

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