Paygas, an ecological and social solution

The project holder

Philippe HOEBLICH founded his company PayGas 18 months ago. This French entrepreneur followed his parents to Africa as a child. He has now been living on the African continent for 25 years and this part of the world, especially South Africa, holds no more secrets for him.

The Genesis of the project

It was in 1990 that Philippe first became aware of the problem of energy inclusion. At that time, he was living in Mali, and like all Malians, he was drinking tea. But Philippe doesn't understand why it takes so long to heat water to prepare it.

He began to question his comrades who quickly showed him that with 1 euro, it is impossible to buy a bottle full of gas but it is possible to buy charcoal. And heating tea with charcoal takes a long time.

He then looked more deeply into energy inclusion and concluded that solar energy is a very beneficial energy but does not allow for cooking unlike charcoal. But the problem with charcoal is that it is 80% of the cause of deforestation in the world.Continuing his research on the energies consumed by underprivileged people, Philippe has been working on paraffin. This burnt liquid allows, at low cost, to cook for whole families. However, the gaseous emissions it causes are very harmful to health and the environment.

The concept

PayGas is a gas retailer. It supplies gas to its customers using digital technology without using cash. The company's customers can then fill their cylinders with the amount of gas they want. The minimum quantity for gas no longer exists. The consumer is therefore no longer forced to buy the expensive cylinder in its entirety.

The consumer only has to go to the PayGas website with the cylinder, pays the amount of his choice, be it 1 euro or 10 euros, by phone and the cylinder is automatically filled up to this amount.In addition, the buyer has access to affordable and clean energy to heat his food and reduce the health risks associated with coal and paraffin.

Philippe's idea of making every payment digitally is very well thought out and very important from a security point of view. Indeed, the PayGas site is located in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in South Africa and the world. The country's poor people live far from the city centres, the unemployment rate is almost 60% and crime is therefore very prevalent. The challenge for the PayGas team was how to integrate a viable and secure business model in a neighbourhood where homicides can be as high as 300 per year.To launch this project, Philippe surrounded himself with five experienced and hard-working people.

Very touched by the subject of energy inclusion, Natalia is the director of operations. Next, Zulu Justine is in charge of commercial development in a neighbourhood he knows well, which is essential. Adrian is the digital director, he's the one who set up the whole application system for the company. The results of PayGas are very encouraging. In just 8 months, Philippe and his team have succeeded in enrolling more than 800 customers.

«Everyone should be able to live without harming his own health.» Philippe.

The impact

In only 8 months, the impact is already very visible for the company. Philippe realized that 42% of his customers consumed less than a full bottle at each transaction. This means that before the existence of PayGas, these 42% of people did not have access to gas because of the price of a full cylinder.

In terms of the environment, the cancellation of the minimum quantity of gas purchased created by the company allows a reduction in the use of coal, the main cause of deforestation in the world, but also of paraffin, which releases gases that are very toxic to health.

For more information, please do not hesitate to consult PayGas's website!

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