RUBBYTAD Group unveils Smart Meter Tech
On a world-wide basis, both domestic and commercial consumers are faced with the ever-rising cost of electricity, water and gas ; commodities essential in the support of our frenetic modern life-styles.
At one and the same time, utility supply companies wrestle daily with the problems of ever-increasing consumer demand and the consequent need for infrastructural enhancement, as well as the high cost of grid maintenance.
Add in the often fraudulent abuse by an ever-increasing number of consumers of the very commodities supplied and the issues of managing these obvious problems becomes ever more daunting. Thus said, ensuring revenue collection and protecting every cent of income so derived is essential to providing service and maximizing the bottom line profit.
Utilities meters have evolved over the past decades from simple electro-magnetic measuring devices through automated meter reading instruments to “smart” meters.
Similar meters, usually referred to as interval or time-of-use meters, have existed for years, but “Smart” Meters involve real-time or near real-time sensors, power outage notification, and power quality monitoring. These additional features offer more than the simple, previous generation, automated meter reading technological systems [AMR]. ensuring accuracy and integrity of data relayed bi-directionally between meter and back-end control centre. The meters can be switched remotely from credit to pre-paid function and vice-versa. In pre-paid mode, the hardware and it’s vending support system is certified by the STS Association.
In 2005, having provided manual meter reading services to utilities for a period in excess of 6 years, Reuben Sekwele the Chief Executive Officer of Rubbytad Group – being aware of global technological advancement – sought to bring “state of the art” metering to the South African marketplace. As principal of the Rubbytad Group of Companies, Reuben Sekwele signed a distribution agreement encompassing the SADEC geographical region, with ADD Grup of Moldova, a leading developer and manufacturer of power-line carrier based “smart” metering technology. Demonstration of the technology to City Power Jo’burg led in October, 2006, to successful contractual award in a tender process of a substantial pilot, numbering some 10,000 metering points in the environs of Roodepoort on the West Rand of Johannesburg. This initial turnkey award has contractually been extended a number of times to current date and now numbers almost 50,000 installed metering points, representing arguably the largest “smart” metering installation in sub-Saharan Africa.
During the ensuing period from 2006, the Rubbytad Group of Companies has quietly evolved an holistic solution for the provision of “smart” metering technology, aimed primarily at utility providers, municipalities and private-sector estate developers. Recognizing that cash constraints due to lowly levels more-often-than-not preclude capital spending required to install such technology, the Rubbytad Grup have developed banking relationships which can provide funding at highly competitive rates in full compliance with the Municipal Funding Management Act. Further, the linking of a dedicated revenue assurance and protection software management system – with an integrated vending platform to the offered hardware ensures a maximisation of revenues due from the user base, bringing vital cash flow to the service providers to the consumer public ; lifeblood, allowing proper maintenance and infra-structural growth to the local economy. SABS accreditation for the technology has been obtained as has vendor status with ESKOM and endorsement from the IDC. An alliance has been formed with the National Youth Skills Council headed by Zama Qampi as Executive Chairperson. The intent is to foster job creation by way of training youth in the skills of smart metering installation and management.
ADD Grup of Moldova has granted the right to the Rubbytad Group to manufacture the technology locally, with a view to serving the sub-Saharan market requirement. The contractual agreement between the entities extends to a co-branding of the hardware and ensures on-going technical support from the Developer, which has over 2 Million meters in operation globally, through 5 continents and 17 countries over an 18-year period since establishment. ADD Grup has a research and development division numbering over 100 persons based in Chisinau, Moldova, ensuring it’s position at the cutting edge of “smart” metering technology.
The Rubbytad Group will formally launch the latest Version 7 technology systems into the South African marketplace at 18hours on Friday, 20th September at the Sandton Convention Centre on Maude Street,
Reuben Sekwele, CEO – 082 448 2966
Rubbytad Management [Pty] Ltd, 24 O’Connor Street,
Aeroton Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa, 2013