Sonnen’s alternative energy model
GERMAN energy battery manufacturer sonnen has introduced an Australian-first power program that challenges the current utility power supply model by charging energy users a monthly fee to cover household electricity costs.
Launched in July, the sonnenflat program involved installation of the sonnenbatterie, followed by a monthly flat rate fee of between $30 and $50.
In exchange, sonnen would gain access to energy stored in the household’s battery to sell back into the grid during peak demand, and take on the risk of volatile power prices for the household.
sonnen said under modelling for a three-bedroom home, the program was estimated to save households about $3000 in power costs per annum, with a return on investment for the battery within five to six years.
“Households are struggling under ever changing and ever rising power bills, and instead we are offering to pay those charges in exchange for a flat charge; it is like a mobile phone plan,” sonnen managing director and chief sales and marketing officer Philipp Schroeder said.
“The sonnenbatterie is the only battery capable of having power stored in the battery drawn down for the purposes of supplying energy to the grid – and leave sufficient power for the household – because of the ability of its lithium-iron-phosphate battery to charge and discharge up to three times a day, and the inclusion of its high-tech “smart” control.”
sonnen Australia managing director Chris Parratt said demand for batteries was becoming so strong, the company was considering setting up a manufacturing operation in Australia.
“Rising demand because of ever-increasing power costs and a desire amongst households to be as independent of the utilities as possible means we are getting close to making a decision on manufacture here,” Mr Parratt said.
“We are also getting strong demand out of Asia, and Australia would be the platform to supply these markets too. The case is getting stronger all the time.”
sonnen sole distributor Flex Australia managing director Wilf Johnston said the technology was the “next step in the evolution of the energy storage space”.
“sonnenflat represents the right direction towards changing the Australian energy landscape. We are excited to work with sonnen and deploy sonnenflat across Australia through our partner network,” Mr Johnston said.