Rapfund is Utilizing OSGP to Help Landlords and Tenants Jointly Benefit from the Sub-Metering Model


Rapfund provides locations for retail outlets in major municipalities in South Africa; currently there are 9 retail centres, between 3.5K and 18K square meters of retail space. The total retail space managed by Rapfund is 70,000m2. Supply of energy to the retail tenants is an essential part of the service Rapfund provides to enable commerce – lighting, air-conditioning, power for IT including point of sale equipment. Energy and other utilities are provided by a municipality utility supplier to the landlord and then sub-metered to the tenant retail outlets by the landlord as one of the services they provide.

Making this sub-metering model benefit both the landlords and the tenants is an important part of the overall success of the business model that Rapfund promotes for its retail outlets.
The protocol that enabled them to achieve this success is Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP). The local technology utilized in this project is power line communications (PLC), based on the OSGP standard. OSGP provides secure, scalable control networking services for any device connected to the low-voltage grid. It also supplies critical information about the condition of the distribution feeder itself, which further improves reliability and lowers operating costs for utilities and network operators.

The OSGP Alliance, a non-profit corporation composed of utilities, manufacturers, and integrators, is responsible for promoting the adoption of OSGP, supporting the publishing and maintaining of the OSGP specifications and standards, as well as supporting the certification process of OSGP compliant devices. Two of its members are RMS (Remote Metering Services) and NES (Networked Energy Services).

RMS and NES have deployed sophisticated automated metering and supply control solutions, integrated with portal, billing and e-wallet solutions at the back-end for multiple projects. Their joint solution allows tenants and landlords to gain mutual business advantage from this arrangement. RMS uses NES’ OSGP compliant and certified meters as the foundation for their sub-metering solution. RMS provides a turn-key and cloud-based environment for landlords to develop and maintain revenue flow for the utilities they sub-meter and for their tenants to manage their expenditure through the portal and e-wallet system. RMS also provides the O&M (Operations and Maintenance) services to keep the energy and utility infrastructure working optimally within the retail outlets.

Around 500 OSGP based smart meters were originally deployed, over a period of time, starting in 2016, across the retail space for Rapfund as an enabler for this innovative business model. On-going expansion is continuing, aligned to Rapfund’s development and expansion of new retail outlets.

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