Australia: sonnen partners with Natural Solar to roll out sonnenFlat

Sonnen is introducing its sonnenFlat concept to the Australian marketplace. It says that through charging households a flat fee, between AU$30-$50/month (US$23-38/month) for electricity, it can save the average household around AU$3,000 ($2280) a year on electricity costs.

The sonnenFlat will be offered to customers with a rooftop PV system of around 5kWp in capacity, when installed alongside an 8kWh sonnen battery.

Major solar retailer and installer Natural Solar will partner with sonnen on the rollout of the sonnenFlat, and says that it expects to sell “hundreds, if not thousands” of the systems before the end of the year.

“In Australia what we are seeing is a transition to smart technology, to an integrated grid, and the sonnenFlat is a way for customers to have certainty with [electricity] pricing,” Chris Williams, the founder and CEO of Natural Solar told pv magazine. “What the sonnenFlat offer is, is an instrument to customers where they can have a fixed savings, and it is a very exciting product introduction into our range.”

Natural Solar has its headquarters in Sydney, and is active in the states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

Many parts of Australia say electricity price hikes of up to 20% on July 1 – the commencement of the country’s financial year. sonnen says that the increases mean that a household with an electricity consumption of 10,00kWh a year, that can mean around AU$3,400 in electricity bills.

On the sonnenFlat scheme, this will be reduced to AU$480, with sonnen becoming the customer’s electricity retailer. The German company claims that given these savings, and taking into account the upfront solar+storage system cost, the payback period on the array under the sonnenFlat is around five-to-six years.

“sonnenBatterie technology is dramatically changing not only household energy use and making households less dependent on electricity grid power, but ultimately the way the utilities deliver power to Australian households and businesses,” said sonnen CEO Christoph Ostermann, at the sonnenFlat launch event in Sydney tonight.

“The early adopter [of battery storage] is becoming the early majority,” added Natural Solar’s Williams. “The typical Australian household will be looking to adopt solar and storage even when looking at it purely from a financial perspective.”

Williams reports that Natural Solar will be providing solar+storage system sizes of 3kWp and 4kWh respectively, for around AU$13,500 fully installed. The company will be installing 6kWh sonnen systems to existing PV arrays, where applicable, for around AU$11,500.

Natural Solar will continue to work with a number of battery providers under its partnership agreement with sonnen, including Tesla. “We are always on the offer for cutting edge technologies and able work with multiple battery s