German battery manufacturer Sonnen has launched a fixed-price energy deal in the Australian state of Victoria. SonnenFlat starts from a AUD$42 monthly ($29) subscription that offers customers all the electricity they can use for a fixed fee, while reducing the upfront cost of investing in home batteries.
The cost and annual cap can differ depending on the deal, including 7,500 kWh for AUD$42 a month, 10,000 kWh for AUD$52 a month and 12,500 kWh for AUD$62 a month.
SonnenFlat will cover all of Victoria. It is currently available throughout the states of New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as southeastern Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.
The company introduced SonnenFlat to the Australian marketplace in 2017 through a partnership with Natural Solar, a Sydney-based solar retailer and installer. The first system to be installed in the country under this pricing structure was a 10 kWh sonnenBatterie Eco 8 paired with an upgraded rooftop system. This was calculated to save families in New South Wales up to AUD$2,000 on their electricity bills
According to Bo Gacic — a customer in suburban Adelaide, South Australia — SonnenFlat offers effective protection against rising energy prices. “We used to pay about AUD$5,600 each year for a household of five to our energy retailer even with our rooftop solar,” he said. “Our bills are now AUD$42 per month and nothing has changed about the way we’re being supplied electricity.”
Nathan Dunn, CEO of Sonnen Asia Pacific, said that SonnenFlat eliminates “bill shock,” adding that it's a winning value proposition for homeowners who are contemplating rooftop solar and energy storage and want a level of certainty on the payback of their investment. “By combining a solar system, SonnenBatterie and a SonnenFlat energy plan, this will meet 100% of the annual energy requirements for many households,” Dunn said.
For the month of June, Sonnen will offer a SonnenFlat Energy Bundle, under which customers who sign up for SonnenFlat can claim AUD$1,000 off their new battery purchases. Details of the SonnenFlat Energy Bundle are available here.
With such offers, the Shell-owned battery manufacturer is seeking to grow its community Down Under. It plans to aggregate its behind-the-meter batteries into a virtual power plant and contribute to increased grid reliability. In addition to supplying storage systems in South Australia, under a five-year deal as part of the state government’s VPP, Sonnen aims to sell the equivalent of a gas-fired peaking power station into the national grid.